Two sides with one ambition, avoiding relegation at all costs, will face each other this weekend at the St James’ Park, as Newcastle United are set to host Southampton. The Magpies defeated Manchester United in front of the home supporters three weeks ago, which was their only victory in the last eight Premier League matches, and achieving a positive result against the struggling visitors is a must for Rafa Benitez’s squad if they want to escape the danger zone. Southampton had big plans for this season after investing a lot during the summer. However, their performances, especially in the attack, have been disastrous, which is the main reason they haven’t been able to move away from the bottom of the table. The Saints have won three out of their previous five road games, including two victories in the FA Cup over Fulham and WBA, but they will need something more to collect all three points against Newcastle who haven’t lost five times in a row at home.
The January signing, Islam Slimani, is yet to make his debut for the club due to a thigh injury, and he is expected to stay out of the team for at least one more week. The same goes for Jesus Gamez, who is absent since the first half of the season. Mauricio Pellegrino won’t have Charlie Austin and Maya Yoshida at his disposal, while the captain, Steven Davis, could be fit for the match.
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