Southampton have been almost flawless since their 5-2 humiliation at home to Tottenham in the second game of the season. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side have won four of their last five league games, picking up 13 points and topping the recent form table.
They have scored goals for fun and haven’t conceded a goal in their two home games since that Tottenham embarrassment. Newcastle, on the other hand, have been inconsistent in their seven league games so far, suffering two heavy defeats at home in addition to winning impressively at home to Everton and away to West Ham.
Steve Bruce has done a terrific job since taking over in the north-east and deserves far more credit than he receives, but his charges may come unstuck against an in-form Southampton.
The bulk of Southampton’s goalscoring responsibility will surely fall on the shoulders of Che Adams in the absence of Danny Ings. Adams has been in decent form for the Saints this season, scoring their first equaliser in the 3-3 draw against Chelsea and gave them breathing room when they ended Everton’s unbeaten start to the season.
He is obviously not as prolific in front of goal as Ings, but Adams will have to step up to the plate over the next six weeks if Southampton are to continue their fine run of form. Adams is likely to assume a more talismanic role in Ings’s absence and should get more chances in front as a result.
Callum Wilson, meanwhile, who has scored seven goals in seven league games for Newcastle, represents a tempting bet. Wilson has proved an excellent signing since swapping the black and red of Bournemouth for the black and white of Newcastle.
The English striker has scored in two of Newcastle’s three away games and has already earned the Magpies seven points this season with his goals. With a massive increase in the number of penalties awarded this season, Wilson, as Newcastle’s penalty taker, stands an excellent chance of scoring in Friday night’s game.
One constant in this most unpredictable of seasons has been an avalanche of goals every weekend. Porous defences, coupled with VAR awarding more penalties than ever before, have contributed to an average of 3.21 goals per game after seven rounds of fixtures.
Almost every team in the league is capable of running up a big score at present, and Southampton and Newcastle or no different. Saints, for instance, have been involved in two seven-goal thrillers already this season, losing 5-2 to Tottenham and beating Aston Villa 4-3 last weekend.
They have scored two goals in each of their three home fixtures and have scored in their last six games since drawing a blank in a 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace on the opening day of the season. Newcastle, meanwhile, have scored in every single away game and have also only failed to score on one occasion this season – in a 3-0 home defeat to Brighton.
Southampton and Newcastle have additionally conceded 12 and 11 goals respectively so far this season, at a rate of almost two goals per game. The chances of them both conceding on Friday are high.
*All prices correct at time of publishing but may change. Odds are bang up to date on our snazzy widgets, though
Southampton v Newcastle betting tips
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