Southampton-Newcastle United Preview
Perhaps the heat is off manager Ralph Hasenhuttl now that Southampton are playing some of their best football on the Premier League season.
The Saints aim to win three straight Premier League matches for the first time since the 2015-16 season when they visit St James Park to face Newcastle United on Sunday.
It wasn't long ago that some Southampton supporters and English football pundits were calling for Hasenhuttl to be sacked whilst the team endured an 0-1-6 rut from Sept. 20-Nov. 9. However, things seemed to turn beginning with a 2-2 draw at reeling Arsenal and followed with matching 2-1 victories over Watford and Norwich City.
Whilst those two wins came against a pair of clubs in the relegation zone, it proved Southampton (4-3-8), 17th in the table and just one point from the drop, are capable of winning the matches they should. Their last four-game winning streak inside the league game over the final four contests of 2015-16.
"We invested a lot, and what you give (in) matches, (is) what you get," defender Jan Bednarek told Southampton's official website. "So it was important for us to get six points, but the job is not over yet this week. We need one more win before the week is over. We will be ready, we will be fresh on Sunday and hopefully we'll get three points."
Southampton's Danny Ings has scored in a career-high four straight Premier League games to push his goal total 10 on the campaign. He had won goal in four league contests versus Newcastle.
The Saints have dropped their last two trips to Newcastle and recorded just three wins during the Premier League era at St James Park.
The Magpies (5-4-6), meanwhile, are 2-4-0 at home since opening with a loss to Arsenal. They drew Manchester City 2-2 in their most recent home match on Nov. 30, then went on the road to beat Sheffield United 2-0 on Thursday.
Allan Saint-Maximin scored in the 15th minute and Jonjo Shelvey increased his league-leading goal total to four with one in the 70th at Sheffield for the Magpies, who are 11th in the table.
"I felt like we took the confidence from the Manchester City game," keeper Martin Dubravka told Newcastle's official website. "After that game, we felt like we have enough confidence to try to win here as well. You need to collect some points, especially when you're playing the teams around yourself."
Shelvey has goals in back-to-back Premier League matches. However, he's recorded just one in 10 career top-flight contests against Southampton.
Updated December 6, 2019