Southampton vs Newcastle live
Alex McCarthy and Theo Walcott are still working their way back to regain full fitness after recovering from their respective injuries but remain doubts to feature here for Nathan Jones’s side. Meanwhile, Juan Larios (muscle), Armel-Bella Kotchap (knee), and Valentino Livramento (ACL) are also set to miss out on the chance to play in the first leg of the EFL Cup semifinal against Newcastle.
Jones has predominantly used a back-three formation in his previous job at Luton Town but has settled on a 4-2-3-1 formation at Southampton. He has tried to implement a non-possession-based, energetic, direct, and efficient brand of football since his arrival. The Southampton boss should trust the same back-four that took to the field against Aston Villa and has looked defensively solid of late, conceding just three goals in the same number of games.
Gavin Bazunu will feature in goal for the Saints. Mohammed Salisu will resume his defensive partnership with Duje Caleta-Car as they try to keep things solid on the defensive end of the pitch, flanked by reserved right-back Lyanco, and marauding Kyle Walker-Peters. The midfield double pivot of Romeo Lavia and Ibrahima Diallo will provide the requisite energy and tenacity in the engine room.
Wingers Samuel Edozie and Moussa Djenepo, meanwhile, could be integral in turning defence into attack with their ball-carrying and dribbling ability, with James Ward-Prowse looking to pull the strings behind the main striker, Sekou Mara, who scored a wonder-strike against Manchester City in the last round. Che Adams is the competition’s top scorer and will look to make an impact off the bench.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Bazunu; Lyanco, Caleta-Car, Salisu, Walker-Peters; Lavia, Diallo; Edozie, Ward-Prowse, Djenepo; Mara
Unlike his counterpart in the Southampton dugout, Eddie Howe will have fewer injury problems, with Bruno Guimaraes returning from an ankle issue to start against Crystal Palace last time out. Long-term absentees Emil Krafth (knee), Matt Targett (heel), and Jonjo Shelvey (calf) are not expected to play any role.
One of the reasons Newcastle do not concede many goals is because of the way they set up in possession. Manager Eddie Howe usually lines up his side in a 4-3-3 system that allows Kieran Trippier to push forward down the right flank to engineer some clear-cut opportunities in the final third with his accurate passing and crossing, but left-back Dan Burn does not go forward as much.
Fabian Schar, Sven Botman, and Burn stay back to form a a back three. And with wide players Joelinton and Miguel Almiron good at tracking back and blocking spaces in behind, they have enough numbers and width to fend off counterattacks if they turnover the ball.
Moreover, boasting a towering and reflexive goalkeeper in Nick Pope, who made a world-class save from Jean Phillipe-Mateta’s snapshot against Palace last time out, as the last line of defence has contributed to the cause as well.
Guimaraes will anchor the midfield for Howe’s side, with Joelinton and Sean Longstaff providing legwork on either side of him as they try to establish their superiority over the opposition at the centre of the park. Alexander Isak and Allan Saint-Maximim came off the bench in Saturday’s game and could well start the match here, with Almiron completing the front three.
Callum Wilson has not scored since late October and has not been quite at his best since returning from the World Cup. For that reason, the Englishman could be utilised to make an impact as a substitute. Howe is also eager to bring in a player that can help bolster his frontline after the exit of Chris Wood to Nottingham Forest.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Pope; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn; Longstaff, Guimaraes, Joelinton; Almiron, Isak, Saint-Maximin
- Newcastle United and Southampton have only played once in the League Cup, with the Saints winning 4-1 in a third-round meeting in 196869.
- Southampton have won just one of their last 11 encounters with Newcastle United across all competitions (D3 L7), winning 2-0 at St. Mary’s in November 2020.
- Newcastle United have only competed in one League Cup semi-final before, against Tottenham Hotspur in 1975/76, progressing after losing the first leg 1-0 and winning the second leg 3-1.
- Southampton have won two of their three League Cup semi-finals, most recently against Liverpool in the 2016/17 season.
- Che Adams has scored the most League Cup goals this season (four).
- Newcastle have preserved a clean sheet in four of their previous five League Cup games, with Elliott Nevitt of Tranmere Rovers being the only player to find the back of the net against the Magpies this season.