Southampton V Newcastle Betting Preview : Can Rafa mastermind another fine away day?
Event Venue: St Mary's Stadium, Kick off: 16:00. Sky Sports.See Stats
The second game on Super Sunday sees Southampton and Newcastle face off in a battle of former Alan Shearer employers. The mid-table battle ensues at the St Mary's Stadium at 16:00 with both teams coming off an international break that didn't deplete their squads like many others in the English top-flight. Rafa Benitez is looking to guide Newcastle to their second away win of the season while the Saints are looking for their second home victory themselves. Which team will get what they want?
Newcastle don't have the best squad in the Premier League and player for player, you could argue that they should end up in the bottom three come the middle of May next year. However, what they do have is Rafa Benitez as manager. Their draw against Liverpool last time out shows exactly what the Spaniard brings to the table. He organised the Magpies, made them hard to beat, and they played on the counter at pace with intensity. If Rafa does up getting money to improve the squad, then Newcastle could well end up being a scary prospect in the league. Mikel Merino looks like he might be one of the steals of the summer and he has been running the Newcastle midfield. With Jonjo Shelvey alongside him, the Magpies are bound to enjoy more fruitful possession. Relying on Joselu for goals might be an issue moving forward, but sitting in ninth spot suggests it's not dire straights just yet.
Southampton still have a strong squad, but it seems like their direction has waned a bit. Manager Mauricio Pellegrino managed to bring in Mario Lemina in the summer and the former Juventus man has looked a cut above what the Saints had before him. Virgil Van Dijk is slowly reintegrating himself into the side and when fit and motivated, the Dutchman is among the best centre-backs in the league. If Shane Long and Charlie Austin can stay fit, alongside Manolo Gabbiadini, the Saints have more than enough goalscoring options. Nathan Redmond and Ryan Bertrand are an excellent left-side and Dusan Tadic still offers a goal threat from midfield. When you put all of that together, why aren't they doing better? They are still finding their feet under the new manager and considering their only two wins in the last nine came against Crystal Palace and West Ham, clearly there is work to do.
This is a tough one to call because it seems only a matter of time until Southampton find some sort of stride. Newcastle will be difficult to beat, but their lack of goal threat will ultimately cost them and result in a narrow defeat.
- Newcastle are yet to win away from home this season
- Southampton have only scored five times in seven games
- Newcastle drew with Liverpool last time out while Southampton lost away at Stoke
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