Newcastle United will compete in a tight battle with Southampton this weekend, but the Magpies have what it takes to claim three precious points.
Newcastle United are riding a dangerous wave in the Premier League at the moment as they find themselves five points clear of the relegation zone. The Magpies failed to show up in their 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace, and they lacked precision in front of goal in the 0-0 draw against Burnley.
Steve Bruce’s men will not have an easy time turning things around on the road against Southampton, but they will get the job done for the following reasons.
Some fans have been way too quick to judge Steve Bruce’s new tactics due to the fact that Newcastle United failed to score against Burnley. It is unfortunate that no goals were scored, but some dangerous chances were created in both halves.
The Magpies had 21 shot attempts against an in-form Burnley side with two strikers up top, and they kept that form going in the FA Cup yesterday by scoring three goals against Championship league leaders West Brom. This new 4-4-2 shape will keep Newcastle United competitive in the game as opposed to inviting the attack by defending with five players.
Southampton Are Inconsistent
Southampton experienced quite the resurgence several weeks ago. At one point pundits were even throwing the Saints in the discussion for chasing a European spot in the table. Now, however, the Saints are experiencing a dip in form, much like Newcastle United.
One week Southampton can dominate an opponent like Aston Villa by scoring twice and creating 28 chances, but then they go and lose to a team like West Ham on the road. Southampton will try to take the game to Newcastle United in an attempt to bounce back from their loss to West Ham, but the Magpies will match their urgency as a result of not winning a league game since January 18th, and this will frustrate the home side.
Almiron and Saint-Maximin
Newcastle United advanced to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup yesterday thanks to stellar performances from Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin. The Magpies certainly needed this win to boost their confidence, but Almiron and Saint-Maximin now have momentum on their side.
The dynamic wingers are often praised for their technical skills and work rate, but they are also criticized for their lack of offensive production. The duo have only scored a combined total of three goals this season, but Almiron scored a brace yesterday and Saint-Maximin set up two goals for Almiron and Valentino Lazaro. The timing of their offensive revival is perfect. Southampton should be wary of Almiron and Saint-Maximin in a new formation that promotes attacking football.
Southampton 1-2 Newcastle United