The battle table supremacy, presumably eighth place, may very well be decided by today’s fixture at St. Mary’s, as in walks Newcastle United to face No. 9 Southampton (Watch live online at 11am ET via NBC Sports Live Extra).
The Magpies have a one-point lead in the table and both teams have played 31 matches, and both clubs have taken nine points from their last six matches.
Newcastle is coming off a 3-0 home loss to Everton in which they controlled shots but were destroyed via counter attack. Losers of two of three, the Magpies have struggled overall after a hot start to the season and are now missing star goalkeeper Tim Krul in addition to Loic Remy and Mathieu Debuchy, arguably their three best players outside of Fabricio Coloccini.
The Saints will look to rebound from a 3-2 loss to Spurs that snapped a two-game winning combination. Southampton has lost two of three at St. Mary’s.
The clubs drew 1-1 at St. James Park in a wild game that featured a bloodied ref and plenty of touchline drama.
In team news Rob Elliot is between the sticks for Newcastle against a loaded-up Saints side, with Luuk de Jong returning to the bench in favor of a start for Hatem Ben Arfa.
Southampton: Boruc, Chambers, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw, Cork, S. Davis, Ward-Prowse, Lallana, Rodriguez, Lambert.
Subs: Gazzaniga, Schneiderlin, Ramírez, Guly, Hooiveld, Reed, Gallagher.
Newcastle United: Elliot; Yanga-Mbiwa, Williamson, Coloccini (c), Haïdara; Anita, Tioté; Sissoko, Ben Arfa, Gouffran; Cissé.
Subs: Alnwick, Santon, Dummett, S.Taylor, Gosling, Shola Ameobi, de Jong