Newcastle v Southampton – Only One Winner?
Who uses these stats and what conclusions do we draw from them?
Well as a fan looking at up-coming fixtures and enjoying the odd punt, I have decided to look at the statistics between NUFC and their next opponents in line at SJP – the red and white striped mob from down the road. Nah, not that mucky lot – much further down the road – those of the Southampton variety.
For as long as I can remember, Southampton were a team that really bugged me. The quintessential ‘bogey’ team. In my time they have had a handful of great players, though never a great team. There lies the problem for me (Bearing in mind I was born in ‘79 before people start screaming about Big Lawrie Mac’s team with Ball, Keegan, Shannon, Osgood, George, Shilton and co).
For every time we played at home, barring the very odd exception, the Saints rolled over and had their tummies tickled. But perversely Newcastle United, were sent packing on almost every occasion down at the Dell and latterly St Mary’s.
Losing is always part of the game and without it there would not be victory, but when you are confident and expect to bring something back from your travels and return with nil it hurts that little bit more. To go on your travels, then have some of the greatest goals ever scored against you – it hurts even more.
I suppose we have to mention those goals? Every bogey team surely has a ‘bogey’ man. Now you know who I am referring to, the chubby Channel Islander himself, Matthew Le Tissier. We all know the goals and we will never forget them either, as they will be repeated until the end of time as we know it. No doubt a hugely talented footballer, though on that day at the Dell – Sad Ken the one legged pit pony would have had a hat-trick against Mike Hooper. The ginger witch moved at speeds akin to a two toed sloth on Valium. Yes I know he saved a pen with his feet against Klinsmann – but come on, he was still a duffer! However, I digress.
So without wishing to rock the football world with the following revelations – it seems obvious looking at the history of the fixtures that the two were mutually beneficial bogey teams!
A Co-op conquering the north-south divide. You win at yours and we will win at ours, lovely. Completely ridiculous I know, but if you are a devout stat-olic praying at the altar of numbers – look at the table below. It’s the Da Vinci Code moment. If only we had all been let in on it sooner! Nostredamus will be spinning in his grave – as he predicted.
Played 38 – Southampton winning 22 to Newcastle’s 5 (11 draws)
Played 37 – Newcastle winning 28 to Southampton’s 4 (5 draws)
Southampton winning 58% at home and Newcastle 76%
When it comes to goals;
At Southampton they outscore us with 63 (1.66 per game) to Newcastle’s 33 (0.87)
At Newcastle we have scored 85 (2.3) to their 32 (0.86)
So as history dictates, Southampton will usually beat us down on the South Coast. No surprise then when the Saints downed us yet again 0-2 in November.
Now are we going to see the pattern continue on our hallowed turf?
NUFC (if you are to believe the stats) have a 75% chance based on previous meetings – and the most likely outcome being a win by a 2-1 margin. Stick your house on it!
Will Southampton keep their side of the bargain and arrive ready for the usual stuffing? Does Southampton’s new Argentine Manager Pochettino know about the deal?
Somehow my gut tells me keep a tight hold on the deeds to your house for now. After all Southampton arrive at Gallowgate, having in their last league encounter dispatched the Champions of England 3-1. They also travel knowing that they well and truly kicked our backsides at St Mary’s and were unfortunate not to put 5 past us, never mind the two they did get.
Can we call a team above us (on goal difference) and in good form a bogey team? Perhaps not, and the win against Chelsea will mean nowt if we bow down and buck the trend in the series to allow Southampton to become the second team this season to do the double over us.
No, this game is massive. Forget the bollocks above. Series my arse! This is a game which demands attention as a one off and which needs to be met head on from the first whistle. There will be no tummies being tickled this time. Let us return the favour and leapfrog the beggars!
Wins breed wins, and daft as it sounds, the way we start the next campaign can depend on how we finish this. The old chestnuts of Confidence and Momentum pop up yet again, but can’t be ignored.
This game and indeed our season’s destiny remains firmly in our own hands, not in the realms of history and past. It is here and now. Will we grab it?
Prediction – Home win 2-1 – put your house on it!
COME ON UNITED. HTL
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