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Southampton 0 v 0 Burnley
Barclays Premier League
Sunday, 12th August 2018 Kick-off 13:30
Saints At Newcastle United The Preview
Friday, 9th Mar 2018 09:11

Saints travel to Newcastle knowing that victory would see them rise above the hosts, so can they use the pressure on the home side to their advantage ?

Last week saw Saints fail to beat Stoke City in front of their own fans, thePotters came to St Mary's that day and used the pressure on them to deliver a performance that has been lacking in them all season, now Saints have to use that as a yardstick to do the same to Newcastle.

The Toon Army will be putting pressure on their own team to deliver and it up to Saints to pile that pressure on by digging in and putting in a display and earning a win.

Saints should go there with confidence, the problem has been our failure to win games rather than getting stuffed week in week out, we have been beat only once in 10 games since the defeat against Palace on the 3rd January, we have won 4 times, the problem being that 3 of them came in the cup.

We should play without fear, Newcastle's home record is barely better than ours, in 14 games they have won only 4 times at home, drawn another 4 and lost 6, exactly the same number we have lost in our 16 home games.

So although we have not been winning games of late, we haven't been losing them either and we have got points at far better teams than Newcastle.

Indeed it will suit us far better to be playing away than it will at home, although the fans are clamouring for two up front, this is probably not a game to be doing that, it is going to be about keeping behind the ball, frustrating Newcastle and then hitting them on the break and Saints have the players to play that formation.

At home Newcastle have scored even less goals than us, only 12 in those 14 games, thats less than we have scored on the road and in total Newcastle have only netted 27 times in the Premier League whilst we have scored 29, so what have we got to fear butfear itself.

So this is going to be a game that by the end of it will see one side very happy and another fearing relegation even more, Saints have to make sure that the team with the smiles on their faces is theirs.

So i expect Mauricio Pellegrino to go pretty much with the starting line up of last week with a subtle change or two, in goal and at the back assuming that everyone is fit I expect no changes, in midfield I would hope that Mario Lemina is partnered with Piere Emile Hojbjerg, I think he deserves to be in slightly more than Oriol Romeu at present.

Out wide I would think that he will stick with Josh Sims and Nathan Redmond, both have done well in the last two games, although some would be loath to give Redmond the credit he deserves.

Up front I think Guido Carrillo willlead the line, although he is not scoring, he has been creating and in our position it is about creating good chances to score from.

So that leaves one position to fill, the third central midfield position, assuming that the manager does not use Dusan Tadic in a wide role and drop one of the two aforementioned, then he has many choices here.

He could opt for Romeu and aim to dominate the midfield and go on the break, he could opt for James Ward Prowse who would offer ball playing skills and the ability to tidy things up as well, he could opt for Tadic to try and play in behind Carrillo or he could use Sofiane Boufal in the same role.

Or perhaps he could be really brave and put in Manlo Gabbiadini, I would expect the manager to go cautious here though and perhaps for this game he should not be criticised, it is firstly about not losing and then about winning.

So this is more a must not lose game than must win, of course we have to start winning games, we are running out of time and to be blunt we need to win three more this season as a minimum, winning this one would be ideal, but not losing t just as important.

Now is the time for the players to show their class, their passion, their intensity, yes the manager is quite rightly criticised for his selections, tactics and lack of motivation, but when the players cross the touchline and the game kicks off there has to be a time when they motivate themselves and step up a gear, we have seen that happen late in games when it is too little too late, we need to see it more from the start.

A big weekend for Saints, but as those who were around in the 90's will tell you, it is the teams that gets the siege mentality in place that stay up !

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UphamSaint added 09:26 - Mar 9
Wxcellent summary and I couldn't agree more. Come time Saints time for an away win!

tell101 added 09:39 - Mar 9
Nothing too much to disagree with APART from the fact that we have demonstrated all season that we do NOT have the confidence to break teams down when they have 10 men behind the ball. I deliberately said confidence and not creativity / ability because I think the players DO have those qualities but we dont encourage it in our strategy. There was a player analysis on MOTD recently about how a player would by default look forward to pass. Our players seem drilled to mainly look sideways or backwards to pass. This I can only put down to the strategy and ultimately the managers style. Its something that started before MP but hasnt changed and seems more pronounced now. Honestly I have watched recent games and thought we could be on the field for 3 hrs and still not score.
If we dont go and attack from the outset I think we will just get bogged down and it will be down to a luck chance either way.

sambat added 11:29 - Mar 9
I would like to see Long replacing Redmond on the right wing as an experiment, he is faster and would speed up the attack, like it used to be.
Let’s face it, it can’t be worse

underweststand added 11:34 - Mar 9
Two men up front - is nothing new for Saints, but when new managers come with a plan / formation you still have to find players who can fit the bill. We apparantly can't.

I recall Strachan had a playing formation he wouldn't deviate from, resulting in some players being forced to play in an "unnatural position " for them, and the team suffered.

OK I can hear someone saying .." pro-footballers should be able to play anywhere", and indeed some can, but it's a waste of talent to play someone out of their BEST position.
Anders Svensson told the story that Strachan said to him - and Fernandes, that they couldn't both play at the same time because.... they were "too much alike ".(!)

Gabbaidini has been with us for a year, and Carrillo is too new to criticise fairly ( despite 3 assists), so if a different line-up can be considered utilising both on the field the saem time... then let's try it .

SonicBoom added 12:31 - Mar 9
I don't get it. This is a game that we must not lose rather than must win?
We need wins anywhere we can get them. We are playing top teams at home so this game is against a club as bad as we are. IT's a good chance to get that win and to push them deeper into it.
Anytime we play a team around us, home or away I would say we must win.

helpineedsomebody added 12:39 - Mar 9
they youse to say matt would get 3 chances every game
dreary dearys team gets 2/3 chances per game + those people wanting to see the team attact/attact are completely wasting there time .

underweststand added 12:46 - Mar 9
Both teams are on the slide so the real game will be between the two midfields.
Of course we need to keep a lookout for Jonjo Shelvey who, aside from Robbie Savage Joey Barton and Vinnie Jones are the only players who deserved a red card every match

NOTE; Romeu and Stephens are both on 4 yellows...(ouch)

bstokesaint added 12:54 - Mar 9
Hate to say it but I can no longer see past a draw for any of our games. I don’t think our manager or players can either. I might just put my mortgage on it.

SaintBrock added 13:10 - Mar 9
Nick, your website has gone berserk! The entries column is now twice the width it should be and overlapping and being masked by adverts. Nothing I can do at my end to correct it so it must be a fault at your end.

KriSaint added 13:55 - Mar 9
underweststand ,

I believe Hoedt is on 4 yellows as well........
Our 2 central defenders for next game could therefore easily be
Bednarek + Alfie Jones from the academy.

DorsetIan added 14:38 - Mar 9
Newcastle will be under pressure to attach us, so we are going to have defend in the early part of the game, and then change to a more attacking style for the final quarter...

...I'm just not sure we can play this way...

underweststand added 15:55 - Mar 9
KriSaint....4 yellows already for Hoedt...yes, you're correct - he is.
Hopefully they might not all get booked in the same game.

Don't know if Bednarek is "up for it " but we won't find out unless he's forced to come in.

As for Alfie Jones..strangely enough I 'm not worried about him. He exudes confidence and always seems calm and determined. Was promoted up as soon as he hit 19, and has been there ever since and a good role model as captain of the U23s

leighsaint added 16:24 - Mar 9
I believe at this time of the season it’s 10 yellow cards 5 ends I December. I think Romeu is on 9

halftimeorange added 16:47 - Mar 9
Oh, that we might score. Sadly, we don't have a Shelvey in our team. Like him or loathe him, the guy can open up defences and it doesn't take too much to create that killer chance against our lot. Despite our relatively good goals against down amongst the dead men we have conceded bad goals at the wrong time and nearly all of them have been due to the defender being out of position, plus a couple where we've faffed about and lost the ball. Frankly, we might as well go for all out attack and see if we can score more than them. I'm sick of negative football for seventy minutes, culminating last weekend in players having to actually wait for our full-backs to trot up and waste any advantage we had. That was sheer madness and Stephens openly showed his disgust. Anyway, attacking feverishly is never going to happen and I'll be surprised if we come away with more than a draw. At the risk of repeating myself, let's hope McCarthy is still on his game.

KriSaint added 17:23 - Mar 9

I agree on your views about Alfie Jones. I saw highlights from several academy games and he looks a fine centerhalf and leader. I also came across a fine article about Jones. There only seems to be one slight worry, and that is his speed.

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