Following a damaging midweek defeat to Bournemouth, bottom club Southampton find themselves six points from safety ahead of Sunday’s crucial clash at Newcastle United. At the opposite end of the Premier League table, third-placed Newcastle have all but secured Champions League football as they sit eight points inside the top four.
Eddie Howe made several changes in midweek, with Dan Burn, Jacob Murphy and Alexander Isak making way for Matt Targett, Miguel Almiron and Callum Wilson.
Those changes could be reversed on Sunday as Howe attempts to limit fatigue during a tight fixture schedule, although Bruno Guimaraes, Joe Willock and Sean Longstaff are expected to remain in midfield.
Sven Botman, Fabian Schar and Kieran Tripper will continue in the backline, while Allan Saint-Maximin and Emil Krafth remain sidelined through injury.
Southampton look set to be without the injured trio of Mohamed Salisu, Romain Perraud and Juan Larios this weekend, while Tino Livramento and Armel Bella-Kotchap are doubts for Sunday.
There are also question marks over the availability of James Ward-Prowse after the club captain was substituted at half time in Thursday’s defeat to Bournemouth due to illness.
Carlos Alcaraz will continue in an advanced role alongside Theo Walcott, with Romeo Lavia and Mohamed Elyounoussi operating behind the forward line.
Newcastle United possible starting lineup:
Pope; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn; Longstaff, Guimaraes, Willock; Murphy, Isak, Joelinton
Southampton possible starting lineup:
McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Caleta-Car, Perraud; Elyounoussi, Ward-Prowse, Lavia, Armstrong, Walcott, Alcaraz
Prediction: Newcastle United 4-0 Southampton
Having netted 10 goals across recent wins over Tottenham and Everton, in-form Newcastle look set to notch another high-scoring victory against struggling Southampton, who are on course to suffer a sixth defeat in eight matches.