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Southampton vs Newcastle United - Carabao Cup preview

St Mary’s is the venue of interest on Tuesday night as Southampton host Newcastle United in the EFL League Cup Semi Final first leg.

Southampton easily overpowered current Premier League champions Manchester City 2-0 to reach the final four whereas Newcastle comfortably dispatched Leicester which also ended 2-0.

The Saints have had mixed results since that magical night on Wednesday 11th January when they sent the Citizens packing. A tidy 2-1 away victory at Goodison Park over Everton followed before being brought back down to earth with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Aston Villa. Ollie Watkin’s was the sole goal scorer in a match that saw it being temporarily suspended due to a drone being flown above the stadium and referee Michael Salisbury disallowing a goal by James Ward-Prowse because of an alleged foul in the build-up. The defeat at St Mary’s means that Nathan Jones’s side are rock bottom of the league and staring relegation in the face if they don’t improve their form.

A decent run in the cup has been a welcome distraction for the Saint’s fans though, victories over Cambridge United, Sheffield Wednesday, Lincoln City and most recently Manchester City have got them to where they are now. A place in the final is up for grabs and it will be Southampton’s first since the 2016-17 season should they overcome the Magpies over the two legs.

Newcastle will be hoping for a better performance than their latest outing at Crystal Palace. A bore 0-0 draw was the result after 90minutes at Selhurst Park. Despite some clear cut chances, the Magpies couldn’t snatch a last minute winner against the Eagles unlike their game against Fulham a week earlier where Alexander Isak nodded home in the 89th minute to sent the visitors back to London empty handed. Nick Pope had the easier game between the two keepers at Selhurst Park, the former Burnley shot-stopper had very little to do until he was forced into a world class save to stop Jean-Phillipe Mateta from giving his side the lead and what undoubtedly would be the winning goal. Vincent Guaita was forced into several saves but they weren’t what we would call challenging.

What will be slightly concerning for Newcastle fans is their lack of goals in recent matches, only four goals in six matches is something that we aren’t use to seeing from a rejuvenated side under the leadership of Eddie Howe and his backroom staff. Joelinton and Dan Burn provided the goals which saw them see off Leicester City at St James’ Park in their Quarter Final. Newcastle haven’t competed in a League Cup Semi-Final since the 1975-76 season and they know that they need to rediscover their free scoring form if they are to progress to the final and even continue their good run of form in the league.

Southampton Team News: The Saints could be without a number of key players for their clash against the Magpies. Alex McCarthy, Theo Walcott and Armel Bella-Kotchap are in a race against time to return to fitness for Tuesday night. Sekou Mara and Moussa Djenpo will be looking to be rewarded for their goals that knocked City out in the Quarter Final with a place in the starting eleven. Che Adam’s has scored four goals in the Cup this season but this place is under threat by Mara.

Newcastle United Team News: Bruno Guimaraes pulled off a miracle at the weekend to recover from his ankle injury in time for the clash at Selhurst Park. The Brazilian sensation played the full 90minutes and he will be likely in from the start at St Mary’s. Jonjo Shelvey, Matt Targett and Emil Krafth are still on the injury table so they wont be involved. Callum Wilson has failed to find the net in eight games so he will be wondering if Alexander Isak will take his place in the starting line-up. Allan Saint-Maximin was ineffective against Palace so it is yet to be seen what his role is on Tuesday.

Sutty’s Match Prediction: Southampton could try and go all out at home against Newcastle and try to replicate their result from their game against Manchester City. They know that if they leave it all to the second leg at St James’ Park then they will be facing a mammoth task as SJP has been turned into a fortress as of late. Newcastle have got the best defence in the league so Nathan Jones will know that breaking them down even at home will be difficult. If Newcastle can get the first goal on Tuesday and the defence stick to doing what they have done for the majority of the season then its advantage Magpies. I think Newcastle will face a tough challenge but they should return to Tyneside with a positive aggregate score come the final whistle.

My score prediction being Southampton 0-1 Newcastle United.




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