Newcastle United return to Premier League action tomorrow when they make the long trip down south to take on another of Alan Pardew’s former teams, Southampton. The Magpies are in desperate search for form and are winless in their last five games. To make tomorrow’s task tougher, the Geordies have a lengthy injury list and will be without some key players.

Hatem Ben Arfa limped off in the Europa League on Thursday with a hamstring injury and won’t feature at St Mary’s. Papiss Cisse also went off early against Maritimo, but may be fit enough to play some part on the south coast.
Jonas Gutierrez is also struggling, Fabricio Coloccini has one more game to serve of his ban and Yohan Cabaye is out. Add Shola Ameobi, Dan Gosling, Haris Vuckic, Ryan Taylor and Xisco to that list and you can start to understand how busy the physiotherapists at St James’ Park have been this week.

Troubled teenager Nile Ranger has been included in the squad for the first time this season, as he embarks on his umpteenth chance at proving himself as a Newcastle player. The Londoner has had a string of unforgivable offences but such as the shortage of players at Pardew’s disposal, he might get a chance to make something of his Newcastle career.

Southampton are without Frazer Richardson due to injury but could be boosted by the return of Richard Chaplow. Midfielder and record signing Gaston Ramirez will be the main creative threat to Newcastle’s somewhat makeshift defence, while top scorer Rickie Lambert will be looking forward to getting stuck into a tussle with Mike Williamson.

If Newcastle are to start climbing the table and trying to qualify for Europe again next season they have to start picking up maximum points soon, as the teams in the bottom half of the Premier League are getting too close for comfort. The current run of fixtures looks as though it could wield a few points for Alan Pardew’s men, but recent performances have left a lot to be desired.

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  1. Frogeordie

    It would be good if we played as if the players know one another and hadn't met just before the match.

  2. Aussie James

    For a Newcastle supporter – this is fair journalism and one I really admire. As a Southampton supporter I would like to think playing at home with a fully fit squad against opposition that only played a few days ago and looked anything like convincing, the Saints have a shot in winning their first back to back games. I truly believe our side with Jack Cork back has got better shape to it and our defense has improved due to the two young guns Clyne and 17 year old Luke Shaw whilst Yoshida improved last week and Fonte has been solid and a good goal scorer he is from corners. Ramirez is developing a nice connection with Lambert, Lallana and Puncheon. I will be really disappointed since Newcastle have an injury depleted team and one who maybe exhausted. A draw will be a good result for Newcastle but I am not say the Magpies are not a good side only we are playing them at the right time without many of their good players.


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