Newcastle vs Southampton preview: Florian Lejeune and Sean Longstaff absent
In-game clips and highlights on the Sky Sports app and skysports.com this Saturday
Last Updated: 20/04/19 8:09am
Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez will have Florian Lejeune and Sean Longstaff missing for Saturday's key Premier League clash with Southampton (kick-off 5.30pm).
Central defender Lejeune underwent surgery in Rome this week to repair the ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and faces a lengthy period of rehabilitation.
Midfielder Longstaff is recovering well from the knee ligament injury he suffered at West Ham on March 2, but will not play again this season.
Southampton will check on defender Jannik Vestergaard's groin issue prior to the game at St James' Park.
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Defender Yan Valery has shaken off a thigh problem after the win over Wolves, while midfielder Mario Lemina has stepped up his recovery with a return to training following an abdominal issue.
Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, defender Matt Targett and forward Charlie Austin are all expected to shake off minor unspecified fitness issues to feature.
- 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 per cent 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 Hasenhuttl (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 Perez 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.
Both teams are safe, and there should be goals. Nobody is under pressure, they are both safe. Why not go out and express yourselves? The problem is there is still plenty to play for in terms of money for the club - moving up three positions can bring in millions of pounds. Winning this game can really help for that push. The players though, will not feel that pressure.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-2