At a time when Newcastle really need the three points to strengthen the survival bid, it is good to know that the Magpies currently hold an excellent record in this fixture at home to Southampton but the last time they won in this fixture was back in February 2013. With Southampton also having a desperate need for the points, their recent away record may not provide the Saints with reassurance by only having won one in the last eleven away league matches – a run dating back to September when Crystal Palace literally could not score, let alone get any points. With this in mind, Southampton fans may be making their 650 mile round trip more out of hope than expectation.
The late and great Sir Bobby Robson never lost this fixture whilst he was manager of the club. Notably, in his final full season, he gained his first league win of the season in this fixture in October with Alan Shearer scoring the only goal of the game and we went on to finish in fifth place that season.
This weekend’s set of fixtures is of massive importance to our season. On Saturday, Huddersfield host Swansea, if that match finishes as a draw and we win, we will move above both of those sides. Also at the same time as our match, West Ham host Burnley. Teams with the more difficult encounters include Crystal Palace who play away at Chelsea and Stoke are up against Man City. If we manage to beat the Saints, there is a strong chance that other results will go in our favour which will add strength to our survival bid. Even with eight games still to play after this match, this weekend has the potential to really throw in some season defining moments and results.
Facts and Figures
Southampton wins: 36
Newcastle wins: 35
Southampton wins: 15
Newcastle wins: 11
Premier League at St. James’ Park
Newcastle wins: 10
Southampton wins: 3
Previous ten (all competitions)
Southampton wins: 5 (22 goals)
Newcastle wins: 2 (12 goals)
Biggest wins (in this fixture)
Newcastle United 5 - 0 Southampton (25/10/1947)
Newcastle United 5 – 0 Southampton (16/01/2000)
Biggest defeat (in this fixture)
Newcastle United 1 – 3 Southampton (15/02/1947)
It was not until February 1947 that Southampton picked up their first win at St. James’ Park and then the Saints had to wait until August 1973 for their next win on Tyneside making it a rather poor record of one win at Newcastle out of twenty-one attempts. It has only been on a total of five occasions when the Saints go marching back with a win from Newcastle. Noticeably, whenever Newcastle and Southampton come up against each other, the home team has won 61 times along with 22 draws and 10 away wins out of 93 matches (the two sides have never played each other at a neutral ground).
Newcastle and Southampton are two out of four teams currently in the bottom half of the table who have stuck with one manager throughout the season. However, that could be set to change at some point in the near future with the increasing pressure that Mauricio Pellegrino finds himself under. Some people are saying that defeat to Newcastle could on Saturday could see the final nail in the coffin for the Argentine manager as Southampton look to seek survival.
I have said this before and I will say it again, sacking Claude Puel was a big mistake for Southampton. Puel’s style of football was far from perfect but he finished the Saints in the top half, a valiant attempt in the Europa League and a cup final. Seeking to improve the team, Pellegrino came in to replace Puel, only to find that the same problems and more were still present which suggested to me that Puel was never the problem. Had Puel been given more time to be able to build a squad that was his own, Southampton may well have been fairly safe from the relegation dog fight.