We are proud to bring you the Southampton v Newcastle Treatment Room, the latest in our regular feature where before each match, industry specialist Ben Dinnery brings you all the latest injury news ahead of the game.
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Newcastle make the long trip to St Marys’ today, hoping to improve upon a dismal away record at Southampton which has seen us take just 9 from a possible 60 points, a run which includes only one victory from the last twenty games.
However The Saints have struggled in recent times at home, winning only two of nine with Mauricio Pochettino sweating on the fitness of a number of key men.
Leading scorer Jay Rodriguez is a doubt after picking up a knee problem at Spurs last Sunday, while Steven Davis faces a late fitness test. Victor Wanyama (shin) and Morgan Schneiderlin (groin) are also major doubts with defenders Maya Yoshida and Nathaniel Clyne already ruled out of the mid-table clash. Ex-Sunderland goalkeeper Kelvin Davis remains on the sidelines because of a persistent back problem.
The disappointing midweek defeat to Everton was compounded when Tim Krul announced he would miss the next 2/3 games after taking a heavy knock to the knee, Rob Elliot will look to deputise having only returned himself from injury last weekend.
Loic Remy is back in training but this weekend will come too soon for the striker; the returning Alan Pardew must decide whether to persist with the Cisse and de Jong partnership, or bring Hatem Ben Arfa back into the fold following two impressive performances from the bench.
Davide Santon is expected to be passed fit, although a place amongst the substitutes is likely after over six weeks out. Sammy Ameobi (ankle) will not be included while full-back Mathieu Debuchy is around two weeks away.
Only Liverpool (12) have scored more headed goals than the home side (10) this season so Coloccini and Williamson can expect a pretty physical encounter, especially with Rickie Lambert pushing for a spot within Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad.
Plus no team has dropped more points from a winning position than Southampton, which should give Newcastle hope if indeed they fall behind; however the Magpies must redress the balance having lost every away game in which they’ve went a goal down.