PL25: The history of Southampton vs Newcastle

Southampton and Newcastle face each other in the Premier League this weekend, meeting in Sunday’s 4pm kickoff, and it should be an intriguing contest between two sides who’ll expect to finish in a respectable mid-table position this season.

But how have both teams fared when meeting in the Premier League throughout the last 25 years, and what can history tell us about the likely outcome at St. Mary’s on Sunday? Football FanCast takes a look…

Head-to-Head

Considering Southampton have never finished higher than sixth in the Premier League, whereas Newcastle have done so on seven occasions, you might be surprised to discover the former have claimed four more top flight wins over the latter throughout the last 25 years.

In fact, Newcastle’s win rate when travelling to Southampton is just 6% – a rather miserly total for a club that once regularly competed for the title and Champions League qualification.

Accordingly, Saints have scored more goals than the Magpies in this fixture and failed to find the net on less occasions. They have, however, twice picked up red cards compared to Newcastle’s none.

Top Scorers

Despite never actually representing Southampton, the club where he earned his big break, in the Premier League, not to mention Newcastle’s surprisingly poor record at St. Mary’s, Alan Shearer’s scored the most goals in this fixture throughout the Premier League era, haunting his former employers with eight goals in 15 outings.

That includes braces in 1998 and 2002, alongside a strike during his last ever performance against Saints before retiring. Matt Le Tissier is an unsurprising member of the top five as Southampton’s all-time top scorer in the Premier League, while an impressive 14% of Marians Parhars’ 43 Premier League goals came against the Magpies.

Newcastle’s other representative, meanwhile, is Andrew Cole who scored four goals in just three appearances during his short and affluent spell at St. James’ Park.

The Classic Contest: Southampton 3-3 Newcastle

A six-goal thriller on the final day of the 2003/04 season in which the lead was cancelled out three times, with no equaliser coming later than 12 minutes after the lead-grabbing goal.

Newcastle needed all three points to stay in Champions League reckoning, something that appeared on the cards in the absence of Southampton’s trusted No.1 Antti Niemi, and Shola Ameobi put the Magpies well on track with a powerful strike in the 7th minute.

But after some exceptional footwork from Anders Svensson in the opposite penalty area, James Beattie pounced on a rebound to level the scoring shortly after.

That was the recurring theme for the remainder of the match; Lee Bowyer burst through from midfield to tuck away an effort on 35 minutes, only for Titus Bramble to turn a cross into his own net four later as Southampton surged up the other end. The Toon then began to desperately pepper Southampton’s goal for a winner, forcing a top-class save from Alan Blayney in one of just three league appearances for the club.

However it was Southampton who appeared to have nicked it when the incredibly forgettable Leandre Griffit – whose Saints career consisted of just seven top flight outings – muscled past Olivier Bernard and poked the ball beyond Shay Given in an unexpected breakaway with 88 minutes on the clock.

That lead to a frantic stoppage time in which Darren Ambrose’s long-range pea-roller sneaked through a crowd of players and into the net. But it wasn’t enough to grab the win and Newcastle finished the season in fifth place.