Ahead of the game on Saturday, Match of The Day commentator Simon Brotherton has been analysing the Southampton v Newcastle game.
What a day for Newcastle United to play their bogey team.
In their last 24 league visits to Southampton, Newcastle have won only once.
Whilst for Southampton, their 15 Premier League victories over Newcastle United is their most against any club.
However, the (hopefully) more pertinent Southampton stats are the ones that show the Saints winning only one home PL match in the past 11 months.
Mark Hughes’ side have also not scored a goal in their last four PL matches.
MOTD commentator sums up what many neutrals will be thinking: ‘This is not the most attractive match of the weekend on paper.’
Last Saturday night, Newcastle’s 1-0 home defeat to Brighton was the second last game on Match of The Day.
The game that kept them off the final spot? Southampton’s goalless draw at Bournemouth.
When two poor desperate teams meet, anything could happen. Well, apart from a high quality football match.
This definitely feels like a game where whoever has the most character should come out on top.
Newcastle haven’t possibly experienced the greatest run of luck and arguably are worth a few more points that they have at the minute, though not many more.
These two clubs look all but certain to be amongst the half dozen or so that look set to decide the bottom six spaces – the three that stay up and…the three that don’t.
There are continual debates about whether matches like this one are/aren’t ‘must win’ games despite being so early in the season.
That comes down to purely your opinion but what is for sure, this is a great opportunity for Newcastle to kick their season off against a poor team.
These opportunities need to start to be taken as soon as possible.
A win by any means is all that is important today BUT obviously it would be a cherry on the top if NUFC feature first on MOTD because of a fine attacking victory that promises so much better in the weeks and months ahead…
Match of The Day commentator’s notes:
“This is not the most attractive match of the weekend on paper, but no less important for that.
“Both will see this as an opportunity to collect much-needed points.
“Rock bottom Newcastle haven’t won a game yet, while Southampton just can’t seem to find the back of the net.
“They cancelled out Bournemouth last week but haven’t scored in four league matches, a run going back to the middle of September.
“Newcastle slumped to the bottom of the table following last week’s 1-0 defeat by Brighton at St James’ Park.
“They became only the fourth side in Premier League history to lose their first five home games of a season and the other 3 were relegated.”
Southampton’s only defeat in their previous 24 home league matches against Newcastle came in September 2004 (W16, D7).
Southampton have won 15 Premier League games versus Newcastle, more than against any other opponent.
Southampton have only managed 45 goals in their past 53 league matches – and scored just once before half-time this season.
Southampton could equal their top-flight record of five home games without a win from the beginning of a season, set in 2001.
They have won only three and lost nine of 17 league games under Mark Hughes. His 0.82 points-per-game ratio is the second worst in Southampton’s Premier League history, behind Steve Wigley’s 0.69.
Hughes has won just one of his 13 Premier League meetings with Rafael Benitez (D6, L6), losing both games against Newcastle last season when he was manager of Stoke City.
Newcastle have set their worst record after nine games of a top-flight campaign, with two goalless draws and seven defeats. They failed to win any of their opening 10 fixtures in 1898-99 but earned four points from draws.
Newcastle are the first team since 1930 to have played the first nine games of a top-flight season without a victory or score draw.
Nine of the previous 14 teams to have gone winless in their opening nine games of a Premier League season were relegated.
Newcastle attempted 27 shots in last weekend’s 1-0 defeat against Brighton – their most in a Premier League game without scoring since February 2014.