AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW Fri: Southampton v Newcastle

Southampton are in touching distance of history – if they win against Newcastle tonight they’ll go top of the Premier League for the first time in the history of the competition – but Newcastle have ruined plenty of plans this season and that might be the case again tonight.

Following their 4-3 win against Aston Villa, when James Ward-Prowse stole the show, scoring two free-kicks whilst also creating another before they took their foot off the gas, whilst there were goals from Jannik Vestergaard and Danny Ings in the 58-minute blitz that eventually decided the game.

That spectacular win follows on from a 2-0 success against Everton and a 3-3 draw at Chelsea, so there’s plenty of reasons for Southampton to feel good going forward, but they’ve been dealt a huge blow with Danny Ings’ knee injury meaning he’ll miss six weeks at least thanks to surgery.

That’ll be his longest absence since 2018-19, when he missed 13 games and Southampton lost nine of those, and whilst the Saints are arguably an improved side now – And Che Adams has taken a big step forward as a player over the past few months – they will miss his presence hugely.

Only Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane have combined for more goals in the competition this season than Adams and Ings and it could take time for the Saints to adapt to using Adams as the lone figurehead, which is not ideal timing for a Newcastle side that has proven to be obdurate to say the least this season.

Southampton v Newcastle United
Premier League
20:00 Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Premier League / Sky Sports Ultra HD

(Maximum 10 matches, since 2010)
MAR 2020 PREMIER LEAGUE Southampton 0-1 Newcastle
DEC 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Newcastle 2-1 Southampton
APR 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Newcastle 3-1 Southampton
OCT 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Southampton 0-0 Newcastle
MAR 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Newcastle 3-0 Southampton
OCT 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Southampton 2-2 Newcastle
APR 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Southampton 3-1 Newcastle
AUG 2015 PREMIER LEAGUE Newcastle 2-2 Southampton
JAN 2015 PREMIER LEAGUE Newcastle 1-2 Southampton
SEP 2014 PREMIER LEAGUE Southampton 4-0 Newcastle

Much has been said about their style of play this season but they’ve scored in nine of their ten games so far this season (all competitions) and sit eleventh in the Premier League table; There was the usual summer of strife off the field, but Callum Wilson has proven to be a steal at £20 million with six goals in eight Premier League appearances whilst Allan Saint-Maximin has proven to be a much needed outlet out wide.

The Toon’s key asset has often been their rearguard actions however, and since their 4-1 defeat to Manchester United, Steve Bruce has reverted to a three-man defence with

Fabian Schar, Jamaal Lascelles and Federico Fernandes all excellent against Wolves (1-1 draw) and Everton (2-1 win) with Karl Darlow having a brilliant season in place of the injured Martin Dubravka, and their plan has worked on the road, with 1-1 draws against Tottenham and Wolves from their last two away trips.

They benefitted from the absence of Everton’s key attacking men James Rodriguez and Richarlison last weekend, and it’s not impossible to imagine something similar tonight with Southampton missing Danny Ings. Take the visitors to get something from the game.

RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)
BACK Newcastle/Draw Double Chance 2 pts at 5/6 with 

PROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 117.24 points
(Excluding Cheltenham 2021 antepost, Premier League 2020/21 Ante Post, Champions League Ante-post)