Southampton’s poor start to the new Premier League season continued before the international break as they lost 2-1 at Stoke, although the fact they actually managed to get a goal will provide some relief to the despairing fans of The Saints.
This defeat makes it four defeats, one draw, and one win in their last six outings in all competitions, putting them out of the League Cup and 12th in the Premier League table. Their position belies how fragile they look though, and a defeat could send them tumbling into the bottom three on Sunday.
It’s perfectly clear where Southampton’s problems lie. They have struggled for goals ever since Sadio Mane left the club, but towards the end of last season and into the new campaign things have continued to decline. They did manage three goals against the ten men of West Ham earlier in the season, but since then they have managed just two goals in six matches.
Things are even worse for them at St Mary’s as well. The hosts have failed to score in a huge eight of their last nine home Premier League games, and with their fairly solid defensive setup, this has resulted in an unfortunate amount of rather boring games. All but two of these nine matches have seen fewer than three goals, and they have lost five times.
This will provide a boost in confidence for a Newcastle side who have improved significantly since their torrid start to the campaign. Rafa Benitez’ side looked destined for a swift return to the Championship as they put in lacklustre performances against Spurs and Huddersfield in August, but since then they have won three of their five league games and lost just once.
The Magpies 1-1 draw against Liverpool last time out is testament to their improving defence, but they also struggle creating chances at times so we could be looking at a rather flat affair on Sunday. Five of their seven league games this season have seen fewer than three goals, and with Southampton harbouring the same record of low scoring games and their shocking attacking efforts at home, backing Under 2.5 Goals at 7/10 looks great value for money.
For some baffling reason the bookies have Southampton as odds on favourites for this game, and that leaves us with a lot of value to take. The Saints have lost five of their last nine home league games and Newcastle are a side on the rise, so odds of 15/2 for a Newcastle Win and Under 2.5 Goals look fantastic value alongside a 1-0 correct score predictions.
It’s worth looking at Joeslu to score anytime as well. The Newcastle forward has scored two league goals since his arrival from Stoke in the summer and comes in at an overpriced 11/5 to find the net here.
PREDICTION;X2 AND UNDER 2.5 GOALS