Southampton are second bottom the Premier League, so we would normally expect to get all 3 points today at St. Mary’s, but with Newcastle’s form of late being so poor, and with so many of our best players out injured or suspended, we’d be happy enough with a draw.
Both our French stars Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye are injured, and Fabricio Coloccini is serving the last match of his three game ban for being sent off at Liverpool, and he will be available for our next league game, on Wednesday night at Stoke City.
But the good news is that Jonas Gutierrez is fit again and James Perch is also in full training, and both could possibly start today.
And Papiss Cisse seems to have recovered from the knock on his thigh that forced him off in the disappointing 1-1 with Maritimo on Thursday night, although with the point, Newcastle qualified for the knock-out stages of that competition.
This is a crucial game today, make no mistake about that – and another defeat would be the third in a row in the league for Newcastle, and will certainly bring all the doom and gloomers out in full force this afternoon, and Tyneside will hardly be a happy place.
It’s difficult to know exactly what side Alan Pardew will start today, but we are again going to assume the Newcastle manager will play in a 4-5-1 formation, so we can get some control of the central midfield, and build from there.
This is a possible side that starts today at St. Mary’s:
Simpson Williamson Taylor (S) Santon
Marveaux Tiote Anita Gutierrez (c) Ferguson
Subs: Elliot Tavernier Perch Bigirimana Abeid Ameobi (Sa) Cisse
We admit this would mean a more defensive formation for Newcastle, but we cannot go into games and attack like we do and keep picking up defeats, and if we can solidify the center of midfield we’ll have a much better chance of getting the win today.
Some changes to that side could be putting Demba Ba in place of Anita, and having the Senegal striker play in a more withdrawn role, and have Papiss Cisse the lone striker up front, and we would then have the goal scoring abilities of both Senegal Internationals on the field – and we need goals today.
Some stats about this game – this is the 85th meeting between the two clubs, and the 73rd in the league, and the first league game between the sides since back in January 2005, although the sides met in February 2006 at St. James’ Park in the fifth round of the FA Cup, with Newcastle winning that game 1-0, with a Kieron Dyer goal, and we saw Kieron played yesterday at Old Trafford for QPR.
This is an important game today and win would be fantastic, and a draw would be a decent result.
Let us know how you think the game will go today, and it’s interesting at the time of writing, that 57% of fans think we’ll lose at Southampton, and only about half that percentage think we’ll get the win.
A defeat would be very very hard to take, and since it’s my birthday today that couldn’t possibly happen.
Howay The Lads!!