Preview: Southampton vs. Newcastle United

Preview: Southampton vs. Newcastle
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Sports Mole previews the Premier League match between Southampton and Newcastle as Magpies boss Alan Pardew seeks to relieve some of the early pressure on him.

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew reportedly goes into Saturday afternoon's Premier League clash at Southampton with only two games to save his job.

The 53-year-old was under pressure for long periods of last season following disciplinary problems and a poor run of form between Christmas and May.

Three games into this campaign, from which the Magpies have picked up two points, speculation surrounds his future again, and Mike Ashley could wield the axe if they do not win either of their next two matches.

Pardew is the Premier League's second longest-serving manager, whereas his opposite number at St Mary's Stadium this weekend, while vastly experienced, is still very much a newcomer to English football.

Ronald Koeman secured his first win as Saints boss when Morgan Schneiderlin scored twice and summer arrival Graziano Pelle added another in a 3-1 success over West Ham United a fortnight ago.

The Dutchman has been full of praise for Schneiderlin's attitude, with the midfielder having maintained his performances and commitment to the club despite heavy interest from Tottenham Hotspur.

Schneiderlin saw his desired summer move away blocked as Southampton stopped the exodus of high-profile names at five, before reinvesting some of their new-found riches on transfer deadline day.

The South Coast club spent £10.8m on Red Bull Salzburg winger Saido Mane and pulled off the season-long loan coup of Atletico Madrid's Belgian international defender Toby Alderweireld.

Both players could make their debuts against Newcastle, with Maya Yoshida and Shane Long in danger of losing their places. Jay Rodriguez remains sidelined, while Lloyd Isgrove and Sam Gallagher are also out.

Romanian defender Florin Gardos still awaits his Saints debut, but will probably have to settle for a spot on the bench. Gaston Ramirez is no longer available, having joined Hull City on loan until June.

Newcastle also lent to the Tigers by allowing out-of-favour winger Hatem Ben Arfa a temporary move to the KC Stadium, but their biggest loss of the week was Siem de Jong to a serious thigh injury.

The former Ajax star has been ruled out for several months and joins a Magpies injury list which includes Davide Santon, Chieck Tiote, Papiss Cisse and Rolando Aarons, who came off the bench to score one and create another in the 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace prior to the international break.

Jack Colback went away with England for the first time, only to be ruled out of the wins over Norway and Switzerland. The midfielder is, though, expected to be fit to feature for his club against the Saints.

Vurnon Anita will be recalled in midfield to compensate for the loss of De Jong, allowing Moussa Sissoko a more advanced role. Massadio Haidara seems to have the nod at left-back ahead of Paul Dummett.

The Magpies have failed to score in five of their last six away games and were thrashed 4-0 in this fixture last term.

Recent form

Southampton: WWDL

Newcastle: DWDL

Possible starting lineups

Southampton: Forster; Clyne, Alderweireld, Fonte, Bertrand; Schneiderlin, Davis, Ward-Prowse; Mane, Tadic, Pelle

Newcastle: Krul; Janmaat, Williamson, Coloccini, Haidara; Anita, Colback; Sissoko, Cabella, Gouffran; Riviere

Sports Mole says: 2-0

Who will win Saturday's match between Southampton and Newcastle at St Mary's Stadium?

Leeds manager Neil Warnock looks on prior to the npower Championship match between Derby County and Leeds United at Pride Park on December 8, 2012
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