Newcastle United v Southampton Betting Preview: Latest odds, team news, tips and predictions
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Bruce’s methods finally coming good?
After a pretty woeful start to the season, with his side struggling to find the back of net or three points, Newcastle have slowly but surely strung together a decent set of results, with a firm pattern of play emerging under Steve Bruce. Three wins in their last five league games, plus a draw against defending champions Manchester City have hauled Newcastle clear of the relegation places into a reasonably comfortable eleventh position.
The only blot on their copybook in recent weeks has been the lack of goals coming from their forwards, leaving the defenders and midfielders to keep things ticking over. Record signing Joelinton looks increasingly out of his depth as a Premier League forward, the Brazilian has only one goal to his name this season from over 1,100 minutes of football. Andy Carroll replaced him for the 2-0 win over Sheffield United on Thursday, but the big targetman is neither profilic in front of goal or reliable in terms of fitness, leaving Bruce plenty to ponder if any money can be made available to him in the January transfer window.
Southampton keep chipping away
Despite an astonishing 9-0 defeat at home to Leicester City inflicted earlier in the season, Southampton have not let this get them down for too long and have been producing some batting performances of late, cumulating in back to back victories. Successive 2-1 victories against fellow strugglers Watford and Norwich City have acted as a catalyst to moving the Saints out of the relegation zone, and also pushed their closest rivals deeper into trouble.
Unlike Newcastle, Southampton have a striker full of goals to call upon – Danny Ings has already notched up eight goals in the league so far this season, bettering even the likes of Harry Kane and Mo Salah at this moment in time. If he can maintain that level of form into the second half of the season Southampton have a realistic chance of staying up.
Newcastle’s record signing Joelinton could return to the starting line-up after only featuring as a substitute in Thursday’s win at Sheffield United.
The Magpies will monitor winger Allan Saint-Maximin, who has been playing despite a niggling ankle injury.
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl says he is reluctant to rotate his side after registering back-to-back wins.
Midfielder Stuart Armstrong remains sidelined by a hamstring injury suffered against Arsenal last month.
Sofiane Boufal will be monitored as, despite being on the bench in midweek, he continues to be troubled by a toe problem.