Newcastle United vs Southampton verdict, predicted score, key stats and suggested bets
Southampton are six points adrift of safety and face the daunting task of travelling to an in-form Newcastle side sitting in third.
Date, KO time and TV coverage
Premier League, Sunday April 30, Kick-off 2pm
Newcastle -1.5 AH Over 2.5 goals Alexander Isak to score
Newcastle have scored 23 goals in their last seven Premier League matches. Newcastle are unbeaten in their six matches against the current bottom four, winning all six and outscoring them 16-3. Newcastle are unbeaten in six matches against Southampton, winning five and scoring 14. Southampton are winless in eight matches, conceding 16 goals and failing to score five times.
Sean Longstaff picked up a knock in the second half of Newcastle's win at Everton and eventually departed on 74 minutes. He will be assessed. Emil Krafth (knee) and Allan Saint-Maximin (thigh) are unavailable through injury. Romain Perraud came off injured shortly after the 30-minute mark of Southampton's game on Thursday and he's expected to miss out. Armel Bella-Kotchap (knock) could return. Mohammed Salisu (groin), Valentino Livramento (knee) and Juan Larios (thigh) are all out injured. James Ward-Prowse could miss out if he doesn't recover from the virus that caused him to depart at half-time against Bournemouth.
Newcastle had to bide their time and ride an early storm at Goodison Park, but they looked comfortable once they got a foothold in the game. Goals from Joelinton, Jacob Murphy and a Callum Wilson brace earned them a 4-1 win. The victory was their fourth in five matches and the second time in five days Eddie Howe's men have thumped the opposition to tighten their grip on qualifying for Champions League football. It remains to be seen what sort of team Southampton will field at St James' Park, but they could be without several key players. Their first-choice back four of Romain Perraud, Tino Livramento, Armel Bella-Kotchap and Mohammed Salisu could all miss out. The biggest issue for the Saints would be if James Ward-Prowse doesn't make a full recovery. He was off the pace in the first half of their defeat to Bournemouth and was hooked at half-time due to illness. Despite their thrilling 3-3 draw at the Emirates Stadium and unexpected points against Tottenham and Manchester United, it will be hard to make a case for Ruben Selles' men without so many key players. Newcastle possess the meanest defence in the Premier League this season and their attacking threat has been on another level in recent weeks. The Magpies have scored 23 goals in seven Premier League matches. Alexander Isak (7), Callum Wilson (6) and Joelinton (4) have all been clinical in the box during that run. If Southampton are forced to start with the same back four that finished their defeat to Bournemouth - Lyanco, Duje Caleta-Car, Jan Bednarek and Kyle Walker-Peters - then Saints fans may be fearing the worst. Ward-Prowse's goal contributions have been worth 10 points so far this season. Without him, they would already be relegated. More than just an attacking influence, Ward-Prowse makes the system tick and without him, Southampton stand a limited chance of playing their way up the pitch to relieve pressure. It could be one-way traffic for 90 minutes. Even if he does feature, the visitors could have to field some unfamiliar partnerships at the back. Newcastle look relentless in their pursuit of European football and they are in the goalscoring form to make the most of this opportunity.
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