The last nine games have highlighted a fairly obvious problem within the Newcastle ranks, they have real difficulty scoring goals.
A 4-1 away victory at Hull aside, Newcastle have only scored in two of their fixtures in this period and both of these were 90th-minute winners at St James’ Park, against Aston Villa and Crystal Palace.
With Loic Remy not expected to return to training until after Newcastle’s visit to Southampton, goals are hard to predict again and the 6/4 on offer for a Saints clean sheet at St Mary’s holds plenty of appeal.
However, Newcastle’s problems now also extend to the other end of the pitch too, with goalkeeper Tim Krul out for a reported three weeks with a knee injury.
Rob Elliot has deputised twice in cup competitions this season, which includes the unexpected FA Cup defeat to Premier League strugglers Cardiff.
His record when getting a run in the side last season wasn’t much better either, with only two clean sheets in 14 league starts.
Therefore, it is the Southampton win to nil that seems to the bet of the match at 2/1.
In terms of the general match betting, Southampton are the obvious favourites at 3/4, with Newcastle 15/4 and the draw priced at 13/5.
The only concern for favourite backers is that Southampton are yet to win at home to opposition above them in the Premier League standings heading into this gameweek of fixtures.
As for who may score for Southampton, Jay Rodriguez will be the popular candidate, having netted in his last three fixtures.
But he is in heavy danger of missing his first league game of the season because of a knee problem and so the 11/8 on offer that he scores in the 90 minutes may be worth opposing.
Another reason is that only four of his 13 league goals this season have come at St Mary’s.
Therefore, preference is for Rickie Lambert at 5/4 in the same market, who has scored in two of his last three at home.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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