Manager Mark Hughes leads struggling Southampton into this weekend’s Premier League clash against Newcastle United at St Mary’s Stadium and despite the fact that only nine games have been played in the campaign of 2018/19, you can forgive some fans for describing it as a proverbial six-pointer.
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) October 25, 2018
We go into the game sat in 15th place in the top-flight table with a return of six points for the year so far, and Newcastle under Rafa Benitez have even worse form than we do, sitting bottom of the table with only two points to show for their efforts.
With a minor difference in results so far, we’ve won one and they haven’t, goals for and against are identical so this is a tough one to call, but lose it and the bottom three might be the outcome and that won’t do anything for already shot confidence.
Hughes can count on a small boost though, midfielder Mario Lemina has been passed fit for the tie and he comes back into contention. The 25-year-old with withdrawn from our last game against Bournemouth after he landed awkwardly and jarred his left knee, but assessments have shown there was no lasting damage, he’s just had to put up with some soreness this week.
“We’re okay, Mario Lemina came off against Bournemouth and was sore early in the week. But we’re pleased as it doesn’t look like he’s sustained any significant damage. It was jarring of the knee and a bit of hyper-extension. But it looks like he’ll be fit as long as he doesn’t have any reaction to the work we’ve done today. Other than him, we have nobody unavailable.”
He’ll continue to be assessed ahead of the game.