So’ton expert feels “absences could really hurt us” vs. Newcastle tomorrow

Allan Saint-Maximin of Newcastle United F.C. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Allan Saint-Maximin of Newcastle United F.C. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images) /
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Will Newcastle United upset Southampton? FanSided’s Saints Marching help preview tomorrow’s EPL matchup.

Tomorrow’s matchup between Newcastle United and Southampton should be an interesting one. The Saints currently sit fifth on the Premier League table, but they will be missing key players and have struggled vs. Newcastle in recent years. To help analyze the match, we spoke to our counterparts at FanSided’s Southampton blog, Saints Marching.

Newcastle Toons: Southampton sits fifth on the EPL table and is unbeaten in five straight matches. What are the keys to the early season success?

Saints Marching: Our high-pressing football has been the key – it worries the opposition in possession. Our attacking movement is also super at the moment with the front four players regularly interchanging, whilst a solid defence has emerged with Jannik Vestergaard at the heart.

NT: Danny Ings and a few other players are out for the Newcastle match tomorrow. How much will those absences hurt the club and who may be a surprise player to step up?

SM: Absences could really hurt us this Friday. Ings being out is huge as it takes away our best natural finisher, whilst injuries in defence may mean a makeshift back line vs Newcastle.
It is expected that Theo Walcott will step into the the open striker role to play alongside Che Adams so both those players will have a huge part to play.

NT: Under Steve Bruce, Newcastle often sits deep defensively and tries to exploit teams on the counter-attack. Is that their best strategy for success vs. Southampton?

SM: Counter-attacking teams had great success against Saints last season.
– our centre-backs were often left facing two or three forwards after a simple direct pass forwards.

Given the way they play, it is important for Saints to keep possession, but the likes of Saint-Maximin and Almiron could be threats when Newcastle take back the ball and spring forward themselves.

NT: Newcastle United have not lost vs. So’ton since 2016, a six-match unbeaten streak. How big would a win be for the Saints to end Newcastle’s run against them?

SM: Newcastle have done well against us in the last few seasons but this is a different Saints side.
They have fully taken on Ralph Hasenhuttl’s style and look set for a successful season if they can keep their run going.

Motivation for the win this time around will be that Saints can go top of the Premier League with three points.

Next. Newcastle's surprising starter at right-back. dark

NT: What is your prediction for the match tomorrow?

SM: Normally I would fancy Saints for a win here, but injuries and a different starting lineup means I’ll go for a 1-1 draw.