Newcastle United 3-1 Southampton: Premier League – as it happened

Ayoze Perez scored his first Premier League hat-trick as Newcastle won an entertaining game of two contrasting halves

Match report: Newcastle 3-1 Southampton

Louise Taylor was at St James’s Park to see Newcastle secure their Premier League status and move 12th in the table. Here’s how she saw this entertaining contest unfold.

Rafael Benitez speaks. “This game, the main thing was to win and I think we did quite well in the first half,” he tells BT Sport. “In the second half we had three chances and it was just a matter of getting that third goal because they were playing well.” He goes on to say that he’s pleased with Ayoze Perez, but points out that the striker is clearly very capable but needs to be more consistent. On the subject of his own future, he is non-committal but points out that Newcastle need to be more competitive. He says he isn’t bothered about having full control over transfers, but says the team needs investment.

Ayoze Perez speaks: “First one,” he says upon being asked by BT Sport about taking his a Premier League match-ball. “I’m very happy to get it and to get the team three important points. We’re now 12th and that means a lot. I need to thank my team-mates for the effort and the way we’ve been playing recently and I’m really proud of myself. We’ve done very well in recent weeks and we’ve got results. Now that we’re safe we can look upwards and hopefully finish well. He goes on to say that his last hat-trick was for Tenerife in the Spanish second division.”

Interviewed alongside him, Matt Ritchie says the team took a while to get going at the start of both halves and says that Newcastle’s players all want Rafael Benitez to stay, but adds the obvious caveat that any decision about their manager’s future is quite obviously out of the hands of the players.

Ayoze Perez of Newcastle United gets the match ball from referee Anthony Taylor after his hat-trick.
Ayoze Perez of Newcastle United gets the match ball from referee Anthony Taylor after his hat-trick. Photograph: Richard Lee/BPI/Rex/Shutterstock

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A good game: That was a very entertaining match and one not without controversy. Southampton were abject in the first half and were lucky not to lose James Ward-Prowse to a red card before they went 2-0 down. Ralph Hassenhuttl made two changes at half-time, switching to a back four and his team got themselves back in the game courtesy of a goal from Mario Lemina.

Despite losing Miguel Almiron and Fabian Schar to injury, Newcastle extended their lead when Perez scored his third to take the match ball. Southampton did have several good chances to equalise before that, with Maya Yoshida in particular, missing three decent chances.

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Full-time: Newcastle 3-1 Southampton

Newcastle secure the win. Ayoze Perez’s hat-trick takes Newcastle to 41 points and they will be mathematically safe from relegation if Cardiff City lose against Liverpool tomorrow.

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90+4 min: Good defending from Bednarek, who prevents Salomon Rondon from getting away from him after the Ecuadorian had latched on to a long ball from the back.

90+3 min: Another Southampton corner. The ball finds its way to Nathan Redmond, who tries a shot from distance. It’s high and wide, but takes a little deflection to give Southampton another corner, which is cleared by Rondon.

90+2 min: From a corner, Maya Yoshida is denied once again, with Martin Dubravka making a splendid diving save to divert his powerful header from point-blank range around the post. Nothing comes from the subsequent set-piece.

89 min: A Mo Diame cross was half-cleared by Bednarek, only for Matt Ritchie to send the ball goalwards with a diving header. His effort didn’t look to have the legs to trouble Gunn, but Perez was on hand to divert the ball past the keeper with a glancing touch.

GOAL! Newcastle 3-1 Southampton (Perez 86)

A hat-trick for Perez! Ayoze Perez diverts a Matt Ritchie header past Angus Gunn to put the game beyond Southampton despite their spirited second half fightback. That’s his first ever hat-trick for Newcastle.

Newcastle United’s Ayoze Perez scores their third goal to complete his hat-trick.
Ayoze Perez scores his and Newcastle’s third goal past goalkeeper Angus Gunn to complete his hat-trick. Photograph: Lee Smith/Action Images via Reuters
Here’s the goal from another angle.
Here’s the goal from another angle. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Newcastle United fans celebrates their third goal scored by Ayoze Perez.
The Toon Army are happy. Photograph: Richard Lee/BPI/Rex/Shutterstock

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86 min: Newcastle win a corner, which Ki sends into the mixer. Diame makes a nuisance of himself and the ball bobs up for somebody or other - I’ll get back to you for reasons that will become apparent in a moment - to head goalwards. Standing on the line, Ward-Prowse puts it over the bar with his shoulder.

85 min: Newcastle win a free-kick from the ensuing corner and get the chance to clear their lines. They were under a lot of pressure.

83 min: Facing his own goal and inside his own six-yard box, Paul Dummett is forced to head over the bar as Nathan Redmond whips a cross from the left into the area. You suspect that could have gone anywhere - good defending.

81 min: The old boy who was unlucky enough to ship that Redmond shot in the mush is ushered away by paramedics and is clearly in need of attention. Hopefully he’ll be OK - he was able to walk unassisted, so the signs are positive.

80 min: Newcastle free-kick in a central position about 30 metres out. Rondon shoots straight into the wall.

79 min: An elderly, bespectacled spectator in the crowd behind Martin Dubravka’s goal takes a Nathan Redmond shot from distance straight in the face. That’s gotta hurt.

Newcastle United fan after being hit in the face by the match ball
Judging by the trickle of blood down his nose it must have hurt a bit. Photograph: Lee Smith/Action Images via Reuters

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77 min: It’s a like-for-like change in midfield for Newcastle as Mo Diame comes on for Isaac Hayden. Like Almiron and Schar before him, he gets a warm ovation from the assembled throng.

76 min: Under the cosh at times in this second half, Southampton have made the sensible and correct decision to send on an Irishman to sort things out. Shane Long replaces Danny Ings, who’s had a quiet day at the office. Long has scored in his last two appearances for Southampton, which is extremely prolific by his standards.

75 min: Danny Ings goes into reverse to try to get on the end of a Bertrand cross on the left. He doesn’t make clean contact with the ball as he tries to volley home from a tight angle. If he’d scored it wouldn’t have counted as he was correctly flagged for offside.

70 min: Hmmm ... Maya Yoshida’s knee or Ryan Bertrand’s head. You’d think the two don’t look much alike and should be easily distinguishable from each other, but there seems to be some confusion over who Hayden’s shot took the deflection off. More news on this important matter as we get it ...

69 min: Brilliant goalkeeping by Angus Gunn, who prevents an Isaac Hayden volley from distance from beating him after it had taken a wicked deflection off Maya Yoshida’s knee. The ball completely changed direction and he had milli-seconds to react and keep the ball out with a strong hand.

68 min: Another blow for Newcastle, who lose Fabian Schar to injury. He goes down holding his knee and signals to the bench that he can’t continue. He limps off and is replaced by Federico Fernandez.

66 min: From the corner, Maya Yoshida almost scores. Ward-Prowse whipped the ball through the Newcastle penalty area from the right and it was played back in to the mixer by Redmond. Maya Yoshida dives to head goalwards but sends his effort over the bar.

Maya Yoshida of Southampton reacts after a missed chance.
Maya Yoshida of Southampton reacts after a missed chance. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

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65 min: Paul Dummett is forced to hack clear and concede a corner after assorted Newcastle defenders are caught napping by Nathan Redmond chasing what looked a lost cause and hooking the ball back into play as they waited for it to go out of play for a goal kick.

64 min: Newcastle substitution: crying salty tears of frustration, Miguel Almiron limps off to a warm round of applause and is replaced by Christian Atsu. If Almiron has done his hamstring, as seems likely, we’re unlikely to see him in action again this season.

Newcastle United’s Miguel Almiron reacts while being substituted after sustaining an injury.
Newcastle United’s Miguel Almiron reacts while being substituted after sustaining an injury. Photograph: Lee Smith/Action Images via Reuters

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63 min: It looks like the jig is up for Almiron, who’s lying flat on his back with his head in his hands as he receives treatment.

61 min: Oriel Romeu is booked for a foul on Miguel Almiron, who looks like he might have damaged a hamstring in the process. He’s in a lot of discomfort.

Newcastle United’s Miguel Almiron is fouled by Southampton’s Oriol Romeu.
Newcastle United’s Miguel Almiron is fouled by Southampton’s Oriol Romeu. Photograph: Scott Heppell/Reuters

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60 min: That was a great finish from Lemina, who really wrapped his foot around the ball to send it curling into the bottom corner, past the outstretched fingertips of Dubravka.

GOAL! Newcastle 2-1 Southampton (Lemina 59)

That’s been coming! Nathan Redmond picks out Mario Lemina on the edge of the Newcastle penalty area. He takes a touch, looks up and rifles the ball into the bottom right-hand corner.

Mario Lemina strikes from distance...
Mario Lemina strikes from distance... Photograph: Richard Lee/BPI/Rex/Shutterstock
And has a quick celebration on his way back to the halfway line.
And has a quick celebration on his way back to the halfway line. Photograph: Scott Heppell/Reuters

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57 min: Stuart Armstrong has been excellent since coming on and finds himself with the ball at his feet on the left touchline. He makes some ground, but is ultimately dispossessed by Isaac Hayden.

54 min: Southampton are unrecognisable from the rabble that played so badly in the first half and their change in formation has given Newcastle plenty to think about. They’re passing much more slickly and holding on to the ball rather than giving it away cheaply. Having said all that, they almost go three behind as Ki shoots from distance only to see his low drive beat Angus Gunn, thump the foot of the post and bounce back into play.

53 min: Ward-Prowse tries his luck, whipping the ball up and down over the wall, but Martin Dubravka saves easily.

51 min: Stuart Armstrong wins his side a free-kick when he’s brought down by Manquillo while driving forward. It’s about 35 yards from goal but James Ward-Prowse looks like he fancies his chances.

49 min: Southampton are in the ascendency in the early stages of this second half, with Maya Yoshida pulling the ball back into the Newcastle penalty area after good work, but unable to pick out Danny Ings.

48 min: A good start from Southampton, with Maya Yoshida sending a glancing downward header narrowly wide after ghosting in to get on the end of a James Ward-Prowse corner delivery. The corner came about after good work down the left from Stuart Armstrong, who ferreted his way into the Newcastle penalty area, only to see his pull-back deflected wide by Schar.

47 min: Saints do indeed switch to four at the back. Jan Bednarek and Maya Yoshida are in the heart of their defence, with James Ward-Prowse at right-back and Ryan Bertrand at left-back.

Maya Yoshida of Southampton clears the ball to safety under pressure from Jose Salomon Rondon of Newcastle United.
Maya Yoshida of Southampton clears the ball to safety under pressure from Jose Salomon Rondon of Newcastle United. Photograph: Craig Doyle/ProSports/Rex/Shutterstock

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Second half: Newcastle 2-0 Southampton

46 min: Southampton make two changes, with Mario Lemina and Stuart Armstrong coming on for Josh Simms and Jack Stephens. Are they going to switch to a back four? We’ll find out soon enough.

Things have gone all wrong on Walton Mountain: It is of course, former ref Peter Walton. I was thinking of former Irish golfer Philip Walton.

An email from Hugh Molloy: “Anthony Taylor has the air of someone who knows they’ve made a massive error with the red card incident and is probably very relieved with the score,” he says.

I couldn’t agree more with Hugh, but in the BT Sport bunker, former referee Philip Walton says he made the right decision because the incident occurred inside the Newcastle half. In the BT Sport studio, Owen Hargreaves and Michael Owen are of the opinion that Walton is talking through his hat. As I have said previously, If Almiron hadn’t been illegally felled by Ward-Prowse, Newcastle would have had two players down on the Southampton goal with only Angus Gunn to beat. If that’s not a clear goalscoring opportunity, I’m not sure what is.

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Half-time: Newcastle 2-0 Southampton

Peep! Southampton’s players look thoroughly ashamed of themselves as they traipse off for the break and well they might. I suspect they are going to get a well-earned savaging from their manager at half-time and he doesn’t seem like the kind of chap you want to cross. Newcastle lead courtesy of a brace from Ayoze Perez, who has yet to score his first hat-trick for the club. He may well get it today if Southampton don’t up their game considerably.

45 min: Good defending from Paul Dummett, who slides in to intercept a Josh Simms shot from a tight angle. From the ensuing corner, Newcastle gallop upfield on the counter-attack and Ayoze Perez manages to pick out Rondon with a weak cross that somehow trundles its way towards the striker despite the presence of five or six defenders. His shot is blocked by Bertrand.

Josh Sims of Southampton sees his shot blocked by Paul Dummett of Newcastle United.
Josh Sims of Southampton sees his shot blocked by Paul Dummett of Newcastle United. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

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44 min: Danny Ings goes to ground after a robust challenge from Manquillo on the halfway line, down near the technical area. The Newcastle defender escapes a booking.

41 min: Jack Stephens plays the ball forward to Josh Simms about 10 metres inside the Newcastle half. Ki robs him of possession and Newcastle surge forward again. That move breaks down, but moments later, Maya Yoshida is caught on the ball. Such is the reluctance of Southampton’s players to hold on to the ball, it’s like somebody told them it’s radioactive. I foresee Southampton substitutions at half-time and there are no shortage of candidates for the hook among their ranks.

40 min: Miguel Almiron scuttles through the Southampton penalty area from the left, takes the ball around Hojbjerg and fires a weak shot from a tight angle through the legs of Yoshida. Angus Gunn gets down to save at the near post. Southampton are playing inexplicably badly here.

38 min: Southampton are being incredibly sloppy in possession today and Danny Ings is the latest player to lose the ball in midfield, giving easy possession to Javi Manquillo. I suspect Ralph Hassenhuttl will not be a very happy man when he’s giving his half-time address.

35 min: Anyway, back to that Ward-Prowse booking, which upset Newcastle so much. It’s easy to understand why Newcastle’s players, fans and coaching staff were so upset that Ward-Prowse wasn’t sent off, as he knew exactly what he was doing when he bodychecked Miguel Almiron. The Paraguayan was guaranteed to beat him for pace and if Ward-Prowse hadn’t fouled him so cynically, Newcastle would have had a two-on-one with only Angus Gunn to beat. The fact that the foul was committed 60 metres from the Newcastle goal hardly made it any less than a clear goal-scoring opportunity. Anyway, that all seems like a long time ago now.

33 min: Another good finish from Perez , who had a lot of ground to make up to get in position to steer the ball home at the far post from six yards out after excellent work by Rondon. Once again, Southampton were architects of their own downfall, getting caught in possession again in midfield and allowing Rondon to gallop down the left flank.

GOAL! Newcastle 2-0 Southampton (Perez 31)

Perez on the double! Perez ghosts in behind Ryan Bertrand to poke home a cross from Salomon Rondon and double Newcastle’s lead.

Ayoze Perez scores his, and Newcastle’s,second goal of the game.
Ayoze Perez scores his, and Newcastle’s,second goal of the game. Photograph: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
Newcastle United’s Ayoze Perez celebrates scoring their second goal with Matt Ritchie.
Perez is congratulated by Matt Ritchie. Photograph: Lee Smith/Action Images via Reuters

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29 min: That was a fairly clinical finish from Perez, who picked up a loose ball and fired through the legs of Jan Bednarek and saw his shot go in off the foot of the post. The move began when Ki slid in to dispossess Hojbjerg and steered the ball towards Perez, who was strong enough to hold off Maya Yoshida and fire home.

Goal! Newcastle 1-0 Southampton (Perez 27)

Newcastle lead! Ayoze Perez fires a low diagonal ball into the bottom corner to give Newcastle a lead it’s fair to say they deserve.

Newcastle United’s Ayoze Perez scores their first goal.
Newcastle United’s Ayoze Perez scores their first goal. Photograph: Scott Heppell/Reuters

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27 min: Rafael Benitez is absolutely furious that Ward-Prowse hasn’t been dismissed and one of the Spaniard’s assistants has been sent to the stands for protesting over the incident. It’s easy to understand their rage ... oh, hold on!

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez can’t believe it’s only a yellow card.
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez can’t believe it’s only a yellow card. Photograph: Lee Smith/Action Images via Reuters
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez protests with a match official.
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez protests with a match official. Photograph: Lee Smith/Action Images via Reuters

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24 min: There’s fury in the stands and on the Newcastle bench as James Ward-Prowse escapes with a yellow card for a blatant bodycheck on Miguel Almiron as Newcastle embarked on a lightning fast counter-attack. Amiron was still inside his own half but Ward-Prowse was the only defender between him and the Southampton goal. The distance Almiron had to travel before unleashing a shot is what saved him from being sent off there.

A very unsubtle bodycheck from Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse on Newcastle United’s Miguel Almiron gets the Saint’s player into the ref’s book.
A very unsubtle bodycheck from Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse on Newcastle United’s Miguel Almiron gets the Saint’s player into the ref’s book. Photograph: Lee Smith/Action Images via Reuters

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21 min: Southampton attack down the left flank, with Pierre Hojbjerg on the ball. That particular attack breaks down, but soon after, Nathan Redmond finds himself in acres of space down the left. He drives inside and tees up Matt Ritchie, who was in acres of space with a clear sight on goal. Before he can pull the trigger, Matt Ritchie dives in to block and give away the corner.

18 min: On the counter-attack, Southampton get a three-on-three with Danny Ings on the ball, and Josh Simms and Nathan Redmond to his right and left. He makes a hash of his pass to Simms and Newcastle clear. On the sideline, Ralph Hassenhuttl can’t hide his frustration. It’s easy, with the benefit of hindsight to surmise that Ings should have picked the easier pass to Redmond, who bagged himself a brace in last weekend’s win over Wolves.

16 min: Southampton win a throw-in, halfway inside the Newcastle half and Ryan Bertrand steals a nice few metres before taking it. It does him no good, and within seconds the ball is back at the feet of his own team’s goalkeeper, Angus Gunn.

14 min: Matt Ritchie robs Oriel Romeu of possession halfway inside the Southampton half and gets the ball moving quickly. A Promising counter-attack breaks down when Ayoze Perez is penalised for a foul on somebody or other.

13 min: Newcastle are very much in the ascendency as we approach the 15-minute mark. Southampton haven’t really got into this game yet.

Isaac Hayden of Newcastle United controls the ball.
Isaac Hayden of Newcastle United controls the ball. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

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9 min: Chance!!! Salomon Rondon flicks around the corner to send Miguel Almiron on his way down the inside left at a ferocious lick. He cuts inside and shoots from a tight angle, eschewing the option to square the ball for Rondon, who had galloped up in support. It’s Angus Gunn to the rescue, with the Southampton goalkeeper palming Almiron’s shot over the bar for a corner. Crikey, Almiron is quick! He has yet to score or provide an assist for his team since joining from MLS, but he is establishing himself as a firm fan favourite at St James’ Park.

8 min: Jan Bednarek concedes a corner as he and Mayo Yoshida struggle to cope with Salomon Rondon as the Ecuadorian brings down a curled cross in the Southampton penalty area. Nothing comes from the ensuing set piece.

7 min: Fabian Schar takes a free-kick from deep inside his own half, sending it long down the inside right channel for Javi Manquillo to chase.

3 min: Mildly intriguing tactical move for Southampton, but only if you’re into that sort of thing. James Ward-Prowse has lined up on the wide ride of midfield, with Josh Simms further inside. I thought they’d have gone the other way around, as I think most people did.

Newcastle v Southampton is go!

1 min: Newcastle kick off, playing in black and white striped shirts, black shorts and white socks. Southampton’s players wear yellow shirts with blue sleeves, blue shorts and blue socks. There’s an early penalty appeal for Newcastle as a Miguel Almiron effort strikes Pierre Hojbjerg on the arm in the Southampton penalty area. Referee Anthony Taylor, quite correctly in my opinion, waves play on. There was little or nothing Hojbjerg could do about that.

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Not long now: The teams march out on to the St James’ Park sward and on BT Sport, Southampton legend is on co-comms. The 50-year-old defender is about to embark on a massive undertaking, putting himself through the horrors of completing seven iron-man triathlons in seven consecutive days, starting on April 29th. It’s a ridiculous thing to attempt, but Franny is hoping to raise more than £1m for Cancer Research. For more details, or to make a donation to a cause that could not be more worthy, go to www.ironfran.co.uk. You can donate either £5 or £10 in just seconds, by sending a quick text.

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A Newcastle fan enjoys the sun
A Newcastle fan basks in the sunshine at St James’ Park ahead of kick-off. Photograph: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Rafael Benitez speaks: “We can have no feelings of complacency because you can pay for that,” he tells BT Sport’s Des Kelly. “Obviously the fans have been amazing during the whole season and if we can get three points today we will give them something to cheer about. Southampton are a good team and they play very well on the counter-attack so they will make things difficult for us.”

Ralph Hassenhhuttl speaks: “We have one injury to [Jannik] Vestergaard and [Yan] Valery is ill,” the Southampton boss tells Des. “He has a temperature and has been sent home. The team knows exactly what we have to do today and I hope the two guys that come in today have a good game.”

Weather report: Like everywhere else in the UK, Newcastle is bathed in sunshine this evening and it’s 22 degrees centigrade at St James’s Park.

Today’s teams: Rafael Benitez has kept faith with the men who edged to the brink of Premier League safety with victory at Leicester last Monday night. Mohamed Diame and Jonjo Shelvey remain on the bench as Benitez names an unchanged team. For Southampton, Ralph Hasenhuttl makes two changes with Jack Stephens and Oriol Romeu replacing Jannik Vestergaard and Yan Valery.

Martin Dubravka
Martin Dubravka limbers up ahead of Newcastle’s game with Southampton. Photograph: George Ledger/Frozen in Motion/REX/Shutterstock

Meanwhile in Wolverhampton: Brighton have stopped the rot and secured a precious point against Wolves on the back of scoreless draw at Molineux. It leaves them three points clear of Cardiff, who are currently third from bottom, and just two behind Southampton, who are in sixteenth place.

Pos Team P GD Pts
16 Southampton 33 -15 36
17 Brighton 34 -21 34
18 Cardiff 34 -33 31
19 Fulham 35 -43 23
20 Huddersfield 35 -49 14

Newcastle United v Southampton line-ups

Newcastle: Dubravka, Manquillo, Schar, Lascelles, Dummett, Ritchie, Perez, Ki, Hayden, Almiron, Rondon.

Subs: Shelvey, Diame, Muto, Fernandez, Yedlin, Darlow, Atsu.

Southampton: Gunn, Bednarek, Yoshida, Stephens, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Hojbjerg, Bertrand, Sims, Redmond, Ings.

Subs: Long, Austin, Armstrong, Lemina, Forster, Slattery, Ramsay.

Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)

Early team news ...

Mohamed Diame is back in contention for a first team place after coming on as a late substitute in Newcastle’s win over Leicester. The midfielder will trigger an automatic one-year extension in his contract if he starts two of Newcastle’s remaining five games, but is understood to want a two-year deal and might prefer to leave on a free transfer in the summer instead. Sean Longstaff and Florian Lejeune remain sidelined.

For Southampton, Michael Obafemi and Mario Lemina are both out, although the latter is back training with the first team after recovering from an abdominal injury. Central defender Jannik Westergard was due to undergo a late fitness test to see if he is sufficiently recovered from a groin strain, while right-wing-back Yan Valery was forced off with cramp in Southampton’s win over Wolves but is expected to be OK to play today.

Mohamed Diame
Mohamed Diame will trigger an automatic one-year contract extension if he starts two of Newcastle’s remaining Premier League games. Photograph: Serena Taylor/Newcastle United

Premier League: Newcastle v Southampton

While it seems highly unlikely that either of these sides will be relegated come season’s end, neither are mathematically safe both could do with a win to allay any remaining fears or jitters. Newcastle fans are more concerned about the future of their manager Rafael Benitez at their club - the Spaniard is out of contract at the end of the season and has recently been dropping sledgehammer subtle hints that won’t be inclined to sign a new one until he receives assurances that he’ll be given funds to make his team more competitive.

Southampton managers are similarly enamoured with their manager, Ralph Hassenhuttl, who has made himself very popular indeed at Saint Mary’s and today his side will attempt to record a fourth win in their past five games. Kick-off is at 5.30pm BST, but stay tuned for team news and build-up in the meantime.