Southampton striker Shane Long will return from a knee problem for Saturday’s meeting with Newcastle.
However, Steven Davis has been ruled out with an ankle injury, which could sideline him for up to three weeks.
Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez is expected to recall Aleksandar Mitrovic to his starting line-up after the striker scored twice last weekend.
Jack Colback is out through suspension, while left-backs Paul Dummett and Massadio Haidara are still injured.
MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES
Guy Mowbray: “The bizarre business of football was demonstrated this week by Newcastle’s publication of healthy year-end financial results – wisely accompanied by a morose statement acknowledging that ‘results on the pitch’ are of greater concern.
“Yep, just a bit.
“At least after sit-downs with several of his players, Rafa Benitez insists ‘they realised the situation and they want to fight’.
“In fairness, they have done in all three of his games in charge – without being good enough to win.
“Southampton weren’t good enough at Leicester last week, even if angry manager Ronald Koeman blamed key decisions.
“He’ll now demand that his team are again too good for the club that Saints have won more points – and scored more goals against – than any other Premier League opponent.”
WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman: “It’s difficult to think how many points you will need to have at least sixth position. I don’t know, but if you win your home games you have a possibility.
“I don’t think that nine points is enough to get that European place, we need more we know, and it starts on Saturday.
“It’s not really my focus for the home games, we need to win most of the six and then we will get a good opportunity.”
Southampton were a little bit unlucky not to get anything from their 1-0 defeat by leaders Leicester last weekend.
Newcastle reacted to the appointment of Rafael Benitez but I think everybody knows the issue is that their personnel just are not good enough.
Regardless of what Benitez does with his squad this week, I cannot see them getting anything at St Mary’s.
- Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game.
- Southampton have won their last three matches at home to Newcastle, scoring 10 goals without reply, and they have only lost once at home to the Magpies in the Premier League (W11, D3, L1).
- The Magpies haven’t beaten Saints in their last five league meetings.
- Newcastle have conceded two or more goals in six of their last seven Premier League games against Southampton.
- Southampton have only won two of their last six games (D1, L3).
- They have failed to keep a clean sheet in those six matches – prior to that they had kept six clean sheets in a row.
- However, they have won five of their last seven Premier League home games (D1, L1).
- Saints currently have 56 points, nine fewer than they did at this stage last season.
- Newcastle have lost their last eight away games in the Premier League – their longest run without a win on the road in the league since a nine-game run between May-October 1977.
- They have kept just one clean sheet in their last 16 league matches.
- The Magpies haven’t won a game in April since a 1-0 win over Fulham in 2013, losing 11 of the subsequent 12 matches.
- Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored three goals in his last two league games – the same number he managed in his previous 18 combined.
SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by Professor Ian McHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.