Newcastle vs Southampton preview, betting tips and prediction: Toon to take giant leap towards safety with victory

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Draw HT/Newcastle FT @ 5/1 with William Hill

Draw @ 11/5 with William Hill

Newcastle to win and under 2.5 goals @ William Hill

Newcastle United host Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday in what could be the biggest game for the relegation battle this weekend. St James’ Park has not been a happy place for the Magpies for large chunks of this season, but manager Rafa Benitez will hope his side can build on the result from their last home game, a 1-0 win over Manchester United last month. Benitez comes up against an old apprentice in this one; Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino was a player under the Spaniard at both Valencia and Liverpool, later joining his coaching staff at Anfield, but friendships will be put on hold during a crucial 90 minutes.

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Both of these sides’ issues this season have stemmed from a lack of goals, an isse that has plagued Southampton lately. Charlie Austin, their injured striker, has only started five games this term but remains their top scorer. Overall, the Saints only have scored two more than Newcastle who, typically under Benitez, have remained organised. Inexperience in front of goal cost them in games against Burnley and Swansea at home, but there is a reason they have only been beaten three times in all competitions in 2018. If they can take inspiration from that win over the Red Devils and grab an early goal, they should go on to win this game.

Form

Newcastle are in 16th on 29 points, just one place and one point above Southampton, and come into this game off the back of defeat to Liverpool and a late collapse away at Bournemouth, where they surrendered a two-goal lead and only managed to draw.

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Southampton have not won in three, drawing their last two.

Team News

This game will likely come too soon for Islam Slimani (thigh) to make his Newcastle debut.

Charlie Austin is still missing for Southampton.

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