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Dec 8, 2019 at 2pm UK
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Preview: Newcastle United vs. Southampton - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Newcastle United vs. Southampton - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Premier League clash between Newcastle United and Southampton, including team news and predicted lineups.
By , European Football Editor | 1mo

Two teams in good form will lock horns at St James' Park on Sunday afternoon as Newcastle United welcome Southampton for what should be a fascinating encounter.

Newcastle have won three of their last five in the Premier League to rise into 11th position in the table, while Southampton are out of the relegation zone following back-to-back victories.

Match preview

It would be fair to say that there was a lot of resistance from the Newcastle fans when Steve Bruce replaced Rafael Benitez as head coach, but things are starting to look up for the Magpies after a tough start to the season.

Since drawing 1-1 at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers at the end of October, Newcastle have won three of their five Premier League matches, suffering just one defeat in the process.

They held Manchester City to a 2-2 draw at St James' Park last weekend before recording an impressive 2-0 win at Sheffield United on Thursday night. There was more than a hint of controversy about the team's second of the night through Jonjo Shelvey, but Allan Saint-Maximin had already sent the visitors ahead.

Bruce's team are now in 11th position in the table with 19 points, the same number as Arsenal and Sheffield United. The Magpies are only four points off fifth-placed Wolves, meanwhile, which is an indication of just how quickly things can change at this level of football.

A win for Newcastle this weekend could actually move them as high as sixth depending on other results, and the Magpies are unbeaten against Southampton since April 2016, winning two of the last three Premier League matches between the two sides.

There were calls for Ralph Hasenhuttl to be sacked as Southampton boss in the aftermath of the 9-0 home defeat to Leicester City at the end of October. The Saints stuck with their manager, though, and there is no question that things have started to turn for the team in recent weeks.

The 2-1 home defeat to Everton on November 9 was another low point, but a 2-2 draw at Arsenal after the international break has been followed by back-to-back wins.

Indeed, Hasenhuttl's side have recorded successive 2-1 wins over Watford and Norwich City at St Mary's to climb out of the relegation zone. The Saints are 17th heading into this weekend's fixtures, one point clear of Everton, who took the decision to sack Marco Silva following Wednesday's loss at Liverpool.

Southampton will also believe that their next three are winnable when considering that they will face Newcastle, West Ham United and Aston Villa before travelling to Chelsea on Boxing Day.

Danny Ings has been absolutely key to the team's turnaround in recent weeks, with the striker managing four goals in his last four Premier League appearances, while the 27-year-old has 10 in 17 appearances in all competitions during the 2019-20 campaign.

Newcastle United form: DWWLDW

Southampton form: LLLDWW

Team News

Newcastle will again be without the services of Jamaal Lascelles and Matt Ritchie through injury, while DeAndre Yedlin remains a doubt for the Magpies due to a hip problem.

Florian Lejeune is not quite ready to be involved as he battles back from a serious knee injury, but Saint-Maximin - on the scoresheet against Sheffield United - is expected to shake off an ankle knock to start.

Andy Carroll was given the nod through the middle against the Blades, but fellow summer arrival Joelinton is expected to return to the starting XI on Sunday afternoon.

As for Southampton, Stuart Armstrong will miss out due to a hamstring problem, but Hasenhuttl, aside from long-term absentee Sam McQueen, otherwise has a fully-fit squad to choose from.

Shane Long could again join Ings in the final third as part of a front two, meaning that Oriol Romeu and Che Adams might have to accept spots on the bench once again following the team's performance against Norwich.

Sofiane Boufal is another option, although the attacker is a slight doubt due to a toe issue.

Newcastle United possible starting lineup: Dubravka; Manquillo, Fernandez, Clark, Dummett, Willems; Almiron, Hayden, Shelvey, Saint-Maximin; Joelinton

Southampton possible starting lineup: McCarthy; Cedric, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand; Djenepo, Ward-Prowse, Hojbjerg, Redmond; Ings, Long

We say: Newcastle United 2-1 Southampton

Both teams will enter the match full of confidence due to their recent form but when taking everything into consideration, we just fancy Newcastle to record a narrow win in front of their own supporters.

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