Sat | Dec 3, 2016

NEWCASTLE VS SOUTHAMPTON

Published:Friday | January 16, 2015 | 12:01 AM

NEWCASTLE (4-4-1-1)

KRUL, JANMAAT, WILLIAMSON, COLOCCINI, DUMMETT, CABELLA, ANITA,

COLBACK, GOUFFRAN, SISSOKO, PEREZ

SOUTHAMPTON (4-2-3-1)

PELLE, ELIA, WARD-PROWSE, S DAVIS, WANYAMA, SCHNEIDERLIN, BERTRAND, ALDERWIRELD, FONTE, CLYNE, FORSTER

Southampton's unexpected success continues. Having lost a host of high-profile players in the summer, most informed critics expected the Saints to be fighting a relegation battle going into the New Year.

Instead, they are third in the Barclays Premier League, 10 points shy of leaders Chelsea and on course for a place in next season's Champions League.

Since losing four league games in a row, Ronald Koeman's men have won four and drawn one, including a shock 1-0 victory at Manchester United last Sunday.

They are back on the road at Newcastle, having won five and drawn one of their 10 away games. Only Manchester City (with seven) have won more on the road and, while the Saints have only 11 away goals, they have conceded just eight on the road - the fewest in the Premier League.

When the teams met at St Mary's Stadium in September, Southampton won 4-0, their second win of that distance in two clashes. Last season, they drew 1-1 at St James' Park, but they lost on their previous five visits to the north east.

Newcastle, with caretaker John Carver set to take control again, have lost six and drawn one of their last eight games in all competitions. Their problems are exacerbated by a lengthy injury list, with Rolando Aarons, Mehdi Abeid, Jak Alnwick, Papiss Cisse, Siem de Jong, Rob Elliot, Jonas Gutierrez, Gabriel Obertan, Ryan Taylor and Steven Taylor all unavailable.