Callum Wilson adding to his ever-growing haul of goals against West Ham United is one of the few things that Newcastle fans have had to cheer so far this season, as Bruce’s men were ultimately sunk by the Hammers before going down 2-0 at Aston Villa last weekend.
With an EFL Cup clash against Burnley representing an ideal opportunity to get their season up and running, Newcastle put out a reasonably strong team but could not beat the impenetrable Wayne Hennessey, who proceeded to save from Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron in a shootout victory for Burnley.
The Magpies’ 2020-21 season ended with so much promise thanks to the heroics of Joe Willock – whose permanent capture represents a key bit of business from the St James’ Park outfit – but three straight defeats to start the season is just what the Magpies faithful would have feared.
Newcastle have only managed to claim three home wins from 12 attempts in the Premier League since the turn of the year, but they have at least managed to score in 11 of those games and have not lost their opening three Premier League games since the 1999-2000 season.
With Manchester United and Leeds United to come after the international break, the visit of Southampton represents Newcastle’s best chance to put some points on the board so far, but Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men have been buoyed by two eye-catching results.
Mercy is clearly not a word in Southampton’s dictionary, as the Saints sought to banish all the talk of their infamous 9-0 thrashings at the hands of Leicester City and Manchester United by coming out on the right end of the scoreline in such a drubbing against Newport.
Hasenhuttl’s side did not reach the magic number nine on the night, but Mohamed Elyounoussi’s hat-trick, Armando Broja’s brace and further strikes from Kyle Walker-Peters, Nathan Tella and Nathan Redmond saw them march to an 8-0 success over their League Two
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The Saints’ record-breaking humiliation of Newport came days after they managed to hold Manchester United to a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s, and if this is the start of a spell of good fortunes for Southampton, they sure have gone about it the right way.
However, a 3-1 defeat to Everton on the opening day stretched their losing run in the league away from home to six matches, during which time they have conceded 18 goals, and not since their doomed 2004-05 campaign have they suffered seven successive defeats on the road.
Southampton’s record in the North East does not bode well for them, either, as they have lost their last four against Newcastle at St James’ Park, including a 3-2 loss in this fixture during the 2020-21 campaign