Mark Lawrenson predicts Southampton v Newcastle
Mark Lawrenson has been looking at Southampton v Newcastle match at the weekend.
Newcastle travel to a venue where they haven’t won for 13 years.
However, there have been only four Southampton v Newcastle fixtures since 2004 – the bad news though is that the Magpies have lost all four, conceding 13 goals in the process and scoring just one.
Southampton have done really well since their return to the Premier League, especially taking into consideration the way other Premier League clubs have preyed on their managers (Koeman, Pochettino) and their players (Mane, Lovren, Lallana, Clyne…and that’s just Liverpool ones).
However, despite ending up eighth last season, there were signs that everything is catching up with the Saints.
That eighth place finish represented only a two position drop from 2015/16 but they dropped from 63 points to 46, what’s more, they failed to score in their final five Premier League matchs at home.
This season has seen another new manager, Rafa’s former assistant, Mauricio Pellegrino, but the pattern has continued.
In their first five home matches (including League Cup v Wolves), Southampton have only managed to score in one of them – a narrow 3-2 win over a poor West Ham team who Newcastle beat 3-0 the following week.
In their six other Premier League matches, the Saints have scored in only two of them, a single goal beating Palace, with a late consolation in their last game, a 2-1 defeat at Stoke, a team who Newcastle had won 2-1 against the previous weekend.
However, despite praising Newcastle for their performance and result against Liverpool, Mark Lawrenson doesn’t see Rafa’s team getting anything at St Mary’s.
He predicts Southampton to suddenly find their shooting boots and win 2-1.
No Southampton player has scored more than one goal so far this season and whilst Newcastle aren’t looking to be big scorers this season, they have only conceded more than one goal when down to 10 men v Spurs.
If Newcastle can score at least once then you would have to be pretty confident they can come away with at least a point, though they have already been edged out 1-0 in two tight games with few chances at both Huddersfield and Brighton. So the first goal (if there is one), even more than usual, is set to be crucial.
Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:
“I thought Newcastle were decent in their draw against Liverpool.
“It was another example of how good Rafael Benitez is at setting his side up for games like that.
“I don’t think the Magpies will fare so well on the south coast, however.
“Southampton are another team that have been short of goals but they deserved to get something against Stoke in their last game, and I think they will edge this one.
“Prediction: Southampton 2 Newcastle 1.”
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