Four key on-pitch battles that will decide Southampton vs Newcastle

One of the most intriguing Premier League fixtures this weekend comes as Southampton play host to Newcastle United at St Mary’s on Sunday.

Saints come into the clash following a relatively disappointing start to the campaign in which they have taken eight points from their opening seven fixtures.

Successive defeats against Manchester United and Stoke City have kept the south coast outfit firmly in the bottom half of the table at this early stage, and it is their troubles in front of goal which are once again alarming – they have failed to find the net in four of their seven league games.

Meanwhile, the Magpies have endured a mixed start to their own campaign with three wins, one draw and three defeats so far, and they have already been beaten by fellow newly-promoted sides Huddersfield and Brighton on their travels.

Newcastle certainly don’t have a good record at St Mary’s either, losing on their last four visits to the south coast and conceding 13 goals in the process, scoring just one goal in return.

Both teams certainly know that they have the players that can make the difference in a game like this one, and they will be raring to go come Sunday afternoon.

Here are four key on-pitch battles that will decide which way the result goes…