Newcastle will host Southampton at St. James’ Park as both sides look to seal Premier League survival.
Mathematical safety is not a guarantee for Newcastle, but they are safe from relegation for all practical purposes. They have a seven-point cushion over the relegation, which is more than enough at this stage. Their recent form has petered out, but an active March saw them climb up the table. Rafa Benitez has done enough yet again, which is a commendable achievement with the resources at his disposal.
Last weekend they claimed an impressive 1-0 win against Leicester City, as Ayoze Perez scored the solitary goal. That win all but confirmed survival for the Magpies. It ended a streak of two consecutive losses, in which Newcastle failed to score. Benitez’s side has won two of their last five Premier League games, and they will hope to claim another three points against the Saints.
This is the penultimate home game for them, and the last one will be against an ominous Liverpool side. In all likelihood, this is the best chance to get that previous home win for Benitez. They have been impressive at St. James’ Park, and have defeated champions Manchester City there. A similar performance will be enough to get the three points on Saturday.
Southampton are not safe yet, but they are comfortable in their own right. They lead Cardiff by five points, who occupy 18th place. Brighton are also beneath them in the table, and those two sides will battle it out to avoid the last relegation spot. Last week’s win against Wolves was a huge one, and it gave Ralph Hasenhuttl a good cushion of points.
Nathan Redmond scored twice in a 3-1 win, and the result was one which not many expected considering how Wolves had played this season. Wolves had 70% possession in the game, but Southampton were deadly on the counter. Haselhuttl has revived the squad since he joined the club, and he needs just a couple of points to confirm survival.
The rest of the fixtures are relatively easy for Southampton, and they have a game in hand over Cardiff City. Despite their lead of 5 points, Southampton can’t afford to be complacent. A win on Tyneside on Saturday will give them a huge boost ahead of the final few weeks of the season.
Newcastle have no injury concerns, as every one is available aside from long-term absentees Sean Longstaff and Florian Lejeune. Jan Valery should recover for Southampton, as the youngster has impressed at right-back. Mario Lemina and Jannik Vestergaard are both doubts, and a late call will be made on them.
Newcastle vs Southampton Betting Tips
The game is bound to be a tight one, as neither side will go for the jugular. Newcastle have been tight defensively at home, and the total goals should be less than 2.5 in this match. Both sides need the points to confirm survival, and a draw seems a probable outcome at St. James’ Park.
Total Goals: Under 2.5 @ 1.65 at Pinnacle Sports
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