|Southampton 2 v 2 Newcastle United|
Barclays Premier League
Sunday, 15th October 2017 Kick-off 16:00
Saints V Newcastle United Dan's Preview
Thursday, 12th Oct 2017 09:41
Dan gives us his usual rundown on the weekend's fixture and he sees this one as a biggie with Saints in a dilemma if they should lose.
On Sunday afternoon, Saints take on Newcastle at St.Mary’s for their first of three very winnable games to play over the month of October. Following an international break, there is the possibility of a new formation coming into play as Pellegrino looks to increase the number of goals scored by his side.
Newcastle are in decent form going into Sunday’s clash with a run of three consecutive wins being ended with a defeat to Brighton and then a 1-1 draw with Liverpool was their most recent result. They currently sit above us in the table in ninth but a Saints win would see them leapfrogged by the home side.
Matt Ritchie has looked to be a real threat on the wing for Newcastle and new signing Joselu has already scored a few goals in a Newcastle shirt. What’s more is that under the management of Rafa Benitez, the future can only be bright for Newcastle but, with no disrespect, they’re still a side I feel we have to beat on the weekend.
As we all know, Saints are having a great deal of trouble in front of goal and a formation change may be the perfect solution to this ongoing catastrophe. They have the players to solve this problem but something needs to change fast as we can’t keep relying on the defence to earn us points by keeping clean sheets. With eight points from their first seven league games, Saints really need to record a win on Sunday as anything but three points will suddenly put them under pressure, especially with the terrifying winter fixtures.
On the positive side, Pellegrino has had two weeks to assess his side and consider a formation change. Personally, I think a swap of some players would be the correct protocol as Sofiane Boufal deserves a chance, in my opinion, over Nathan Redmond who is still yet to impress me this season. The potential introduction of a back-three would see our already solid defence improve but whether our attacking threat would improve from this I simply don’t know until I see the performance on Sunday.
Prediction: Newcastle are a decent side with some good players but if the international break doesn’t affect us like it has done over the last few years then we will beat them. Obviously, there is the question on fitness after international duty, especially with some players travelling from Africa and Asia. I don’t think we’ll be rampant but I do expect us to be solid so I’m going with a 2-0 win for the Saints!
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