Southampton will be hoping to build on a positive result last weekend, a 1-1 draw with Manchester United and an 8-0 thumping away at Newport County in the Carabao Cup in midweek, as they make the long trip to play Newcastle United today.
Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl only has two injury concerns of note ahead of the game and both of those players happen to be midfielders.
Stuart Armstrong and Will Smallbone are confirmed absentees.
Armstrong is nursing a calf injury that has resulted in him not playing any minutes for Southampton so far this season and also saw him pull out of the Scotland national team in the last couple of days.
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Hasenhuttl said of Armstrong’s injury: “Stuart is not yet back training on the pitch so it will take a little bit longer [than Newcastle], I think.”
As per the Austrian, it’s unclear when we will see Armstrong return to the pitch.
Smallbone is still recovering from the knee injury he picked up against Leicester City last season.
He hasn’t yet returned to training with the first team, but Hasenhuttl is hopeful that will happen soon.
“He’s working with the physios and I think he’s made good steps forward,” Hasenhuttl said of Smallbone in his pre-match press conference. “I don’t think it is that long until he comes back and trains with the group.”