Paul Higham says Southampton can pinch an away win at Newcastle that will all-but secure their Premier League status on Saturday.
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Newcastle v Southampton 1730 BST - BT Sport 1
These two aren't quite mathematically safe but it'd take something monumental from either of these to give up the five (Southampton) or seven (Newcastle) point leads they currently enjoy over Cardiff - and Saints even have a game in hand.
A win for either side would finish their survival jobs off, but even a draw and another valuable point wouldn't be the worst result in the world, with both sides having some very winnable games in their run-ins.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has transformed Saints since taking over and there's been a lot to like about their football in recent wins over Spurs, brighton and Wolves, while they were also impressive in the loss to Liverpool.
Newcastle got a fine win at Leicester last time out though and will have a big Easter home crowd behind them, but for me there's just a bit more quality in this Southampton outfit and if they can stick to the game plan of pressing high and forcing mistakes they can just pinch this one.
Prediction: Newcastle 1-2 Southampton (Sky Bet odds: 11/1)
It's a tough one to call this one and the draw may not be the worst shout in the world, but there's just enough to suggest that the Saints will be well suited to playing on the break here and, if they get the first goal especially, they can get the three points that'll all-but secure survival.
Best bet: Southampton to win at 23/10
Nothing fancy, the bookies are calling this a close one and as such you get a decent return when taking a view either way and with two teams so closely matched you may as well play the value on the away win.
Stats: Southampton and over 2.5 goals at 5/1
We're not expecting a goal fest here but personally I think there could be a few goals as both sides should really be fancying this game as the one to cement their Premier League status.
Newcastle United v Southampton - Opta stats
- Only at home to Spurs (12), Everton (13) and Aston Villa (14) have Newcastle won more Premier League games at St. James’ Park than they have against Southampton (11).
- Southampton have only lost one of their most recent nine Premier League games with Newcastle (W4 D4), though that defeat came in this exact fixture last season (0-3).
- Newcastle have only lost one of their last 13 Premier League home games against Southampton (W9 D3), losing 1-2 in January 2015.
- Newcastle’s defeat against Crystal Palace in their last home match ended a run of five consecutive victories at St James’ Park. They last lost consecutive home league games in December (vs West Ham and Wolves).
- Southampton have won four of their last six Premier League games (L2), as many as they had in their previous 23 in the competition (W4 D8 L11).
- Southampton are looking to secure consecutive away wins in the Premier League for the first time since March 2017, having won at Brighton in their last game on the road.
- 70% of Newcastle’s Premier League victories this season have been by a one-goal margin (7/10) – only Brighton have won a higher percentage of their Premier League games by one goal this term.
- Southampton have won as many Premier League games in 18 matches manager Ralph Hasenhüttl (W8 D3 L7) as they had in 52 games under their last two permanent managers combined (Mark Hughes and Mauricio Pellegrino; W8 D21 L23).
- Ayoze Pérez has been involved in five goals in his last six home league games for Newcastle, scoring four and assisting another.
- Southampton striker Shane Long has scored in his last two Premier League games – he’s never scored in three in a row in the competition before.