The Warm
Down: No Ings, no worries as Southampton go top of the Premier League
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Southampton have gone provisionally top of the Premier League table after a 2-0 home win against Newcastle United on Friday night.

With Danny Ings set to miss the next month or so of football, Che Adams stepped up to fill Ings’ shoes with a spectacular opening goal on eight minutes; a powerful side-foot volley from a Theo Walcott cross.

The home side looked menacing from the off and could have been two up when Walcott bent an effort just wide of the right-hand post.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side continued to dominate in search of the second with Oriol Romeu striking the crossbar early in the second half, but the match-sealer finally came with eight minutes to play.

Stuart Armstrong won the ball on the edge of Newcastle’s box before getting the ball under control and firing a left-footed strike into the bottom right corner of Karl Darlow’s net.

Adams ensures Ings isn’t missed

Ings has carried his electric form of last season into this campaign, already notching five goals in his seven appearances.

But minor knee surgery after a knock last week against Aston Villa puts the England international on the sidelines for up to six weeks, allowing Adams to step forward and fill the no.9’s shoes.

After signing from Birmingham last summer, the 24-year-old struggled to adjust to Premier League football, scoring his only four goals in the final six games of the season.

Now eight games in, Adams is already just one short of his entire 2019/20 tally and looks set to lead the line for the Saints in the coming weeks.

After a prolific Championship career with the Blues and significant potential ahead of him, this early form can only bode well for Adams and Southampton as they look to remain in the conversation for European football.

Walcott fitting in nicely

At 31 years of age, Walcott was facing a crossroads in his career as he was on the fringes of the Everton squad and appeared on the out at the top level.

But some 14 years after leaving Saints for Arsenal as a teenager, the prodigal son has returned and is brimming with new confidence back at St. Mary’s.

The no.32 has an assist in each of his three Premier League appearances with Southampton and slotted seamlessly into a more central role alongside Adams to fill Ings’ position.

He appears to have rediscovered the turn of pace that made him so difficult to defend during his time at the Gunners and he is already demonstrating a terrific understanding with his new teammates.

On his day and on top form, Walcott is capable of performing at a top level and his production will be a big part of any success Southampton have throughout the campaign.

A strong run of form at home

After boasting a woeful home record in the last two Premier League seasons, Southampton have now won three games on the bounce at St. Mary’s and have kept a clean sheet in each.

After an early hiccup against Tottenham Hotspur, Hasenhuttl will be delighted with his team’s ability to utilise home advantage and take maximum points.

On top of that, their home form hasn’t waned with just one defeat on the road so far this season and two wins and a draw in their last three, with that draw coming in a 3-3 thriller at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea.

Saints will face Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool within their next five home fixtures in the league, with the opportunity for some big points to be won and a handy position on the table come the turn of the year.

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