Southampton v Newcastle: Goals could be in short supply on the south coast

Newcastle manager Rafa Benítez
Rafa Benítez is again up against it at Newcastle

Jack Lang is not expecting a thriller when these two struggling sides meet at St Mary's...

"Southampton have failed to score in four consecutive Premier League games for the first time since October 2004, and Newcastle's matches against sides in and around them in the table tend to go low"

Southampton v Newcastle United
Saturday, 15:00

Saints feeling the heat

We're only in late October, but already the form book is starting to take on a fairly grim look for Southampton. Mark Hughes' side have managed just one win in nine Premier League assignments, and the Saints haven't even troubled the scorers in the last four. As things stand, they're probably just happy that there are a handful of teams worse than them - including, on the evidence of the table, their visitors this weekend.

The optimists will point to the fact that Southampton have had to negotiate a few tricky fixtures: they were probably not expecting much from games against Liverpool and Chelsea, while a draw against in-form Bournemouth last weekend was a decent result. But performances have hardly been encouraging, and they look far too dependent on Danny Ings for their goals; Manolo Gabbiadini, Charlie Austin, Shane Long, Nathan Redmond and Mohamed Elyounoussi have a grand total of zero league goals between them so far.

Winless Newcastle need a lift

As above, so below. Newcastle also look bereft of confidence, with just a pair of away draws (at Cardiff and Crystal Palace) to show for their season so far. They really should have more than two points, but also have a stunning ability to shoot themselves in the foot: witness Kenedy's late penalty miss in Wales, or their collapse at Manchester United at the start of the month.

The bad mood at St James' Park is of course about far more than the Magpies' on-pitch form. But while Rafa Benítez has plenty of credit in the bank - and the patience of a whole squadron of saints - there have nonetheless been murmurings of discontent about his tactics and substitutions in recent weeks. Part of the issue is that he doesn't seem to know which striker should be leading the line, meaning it will again be a toss-up between Yoshinori Muto, Joselu and - if fit - Salomón Rondón.

Hard to side with either team

Recent results in this fixture don't bode well for the away side: Southampton have lost just one of their 17 home Premier League matches against Newcastle (W12 D4). But we're reluctant to back a one-dimensional side at 2.186/5, even with home advantage.

Newcastle won't be getting our cash either, although it's worth noting that Benítez seems to have his opposite number pretty much figured out: Hughes has won just one of their 13 Premier League meetings. In a game between two sides low on confidence, the draw is probably the pick at 3.412/5.

Goals in short supply

The goals markets are of most interest to us here. Southampton have failed to score in four consecutive Premier League games for the first time since October 2004, and while Newcastle have been involved in a few high-scoring games, their matches against sides in and around them in the table tend to go low: all four games against teams currently in the bottom half (at the start of the weekend) have gone under the 2.5-goal mark.

'No' in the Both Teams to Score market would have paid out in all four of those games, as well as six of Southampton's nine matches. 1.865/6 is the price.

Same Game Multi

Using this new tool on the Sportsbook, you can combine multiple picks on the same game. Here, for instance, we could back the draw, under 2.5 goals and Danny Ings first goalscorer at bumper odds of 43.04.

Jack Lang's Premier League P/L, 2018/19

Staked: 11pts
Returned: 6.88pts
P/L: -4.12pts

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