Ralph Hasenhuttl has called on his Southampton players to “show a difference face” if they are to pick up a rare Premier League win away to Newcastle United.
The Saints have won just one of their last 16 meetings at Newcastle in the top flight, with their last four trips to St James’ Park ending in defeat.
However, Southampton make the long trip north in a positive mood after drawing 1-1 with Manchester United and then thrashing Newport County 8-0 in their midweek EFL Cup tie.
In his side’s final outing before the first international break of the new campaign, Hasenhuttl is seeking to change his side’s fortunes in this fixture.
“After the last two games to go to Newcastle where our history is not really the biggest one, to show up there and change this is a big goal for us,” he said.
“After the first game when we lost against Everton, we have shown a different face and this is also what we need to show against Newcastle.
“We haven’t played our best games there and we need to play a good one or we cannot take something there. I’m looking forward to turning things around at this ground.”
While Southampton got off the mark with their first league point last weekend, Newcastle followed up their defeat to West Ham with a 2-0 loss at Aston Villa.
United were then eliminated from the EFL Cup by Burnley on penalties in the week, though boss Steve Bruce insists he is under no more pressure than usual.
“I’ve been under pressure since I walked into the job just over two years ago,” he said. “Nothing changes. It’s all geared about results.
“We’re disappointed but some of the stuff we’ve played I’ve been very pleased with. Performances have been decent.
“We haven’t got any points on the board so with an international break coming up, it would be nice to get up and running.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Newcastle United – Matt Ritchie
Versatile wide player Ritchie has created nine chances in Newcastle’s opening two games, which is behind only Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold (10) among Premier League players. He created four chances against West Ham and five against Villa, with no United player creating at least four chances in three straight top-flight games since Moussa Sissoko in October 2015.
Southampton – Adam Armstrong
Armstrong did not make the cut at Newcastle under Rafael Benitez, but he has since rebuilt his career at Blackburn Rovers and earned a move back to the top flight with Southampton. The 24-year-old was on target in Southampton’s defeat at Everton on the opening weekend, meaning he has now ended on the losing side in all nine of his away Premier League appearances.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Newcastle have won 14 Premier League home games against Southampton – against no side have they won more at St James’ Park in the competition.
– United have lost both of their opening two league games in four of the last six seasons, but have not lost each of their first three to a league campaign since 1999-2000 under Ruud Gullit. Their third league game of that campaign was also against Southampton.
– Newcastle have lost three of their last four home league games (W1), as many as in their previous 11 at St James’ Park (W3 D5 L3). The Magpies have kept just two clean sheets in their last 24 home league games, doing against Liverpool in December 2020 (0-0) and Sheffield United in May (1-0).
– Since Hasenhuttl took charge in December 2018, Southampton have dropped 62 points from winning positions in the Premier League, at least 12 more than any other side in that time. Indeed, the Saints have opened the scoring in both of their league matches this season, but failed to win either (D1 L1).
– Southampton have lost 11 of their last 12 Premier League away games (W1), including each of the last six in a row. They last lost seven consecutive away league games between November 2004 and February 2005, in the season they were relegated from the Premier League.