Southampton vs Newcastle United: Carabao Cup Semi-Final First Leg Preview, 2023
Southampton and Newcastle face off at St. Marys; Graphic: @AntScottMedia

Southampton and Newcastle United both have Wembley in their sights ahead of part one of their semi-final clash in the Carabao Cup.

Saints upset all odds in beating Manchester City in their quarter-final little over a fortnight ago, whilst Newcastle will head into the tie as firm favourites.

And Eddie Howe’s men have fond memories of St. Marys having thrashed the hosts already this season. Their 4-1 win in November signalled the end of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s time with Southampton.

Newcastle won 4-1 at St. Marys in November
Newcastle won 4-1 at St. Marys in November

Form Guide

Many Saints supporters would have been hopeful on Saturday when they welcomed Aston Villa on the back of three wins in a row in all competitions, but were left dissatisfied. Ollie Waktins’ first half header condemned Saints to defeat number 13 of their Premier League campaign to leave them rooted to the foot of the table.

The home defeat maintained Saints’ poor home form, with just one win from ten games in the league. They’ve already won more home cup games than league – with wins over Sheffield Wednesday, Lincoln City and Man. City in the league cup all coming at St. Marys.

Newcastle, meanwhile, will be hoping for a return to winning ways themselves after being held to a goalless draw at Crystal Palace on Saturday. The Magpies haven’t been in great form since the World Cup, with just four wins over eight games – including a shock FA Cup loss at Sheffield Wednesday earlier in the month.

The Magpies are 15 Premier League games unbeaten, however, and the shut out at Selhurst Park meant Nick Pope has kept nine consecutive clean sheets.

United are searching for their first cup final in 24 years, and will surely fancy their chances against the Premier League strugglers.

Last time out

As mentioned, Southampton fell to a narrow defeat at home to Aston Villa on Saturday, although they will feel aggrieved after VAR denied them an opening goal.

James Ward-Prowse fired home midway through the second half, but only for VAR to rule that Mo Elyounoussi had fouled Ezri Konsa in the build up. Soft? Maybe, but ultimately Saints couldn’t do enough once Villa had gone infront to draw level.

Saints fell to a narrow loss to <strong><a href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2023/01/13/1134452-brentford-b-3-2-aston-villa-under-21s-bees-secure-top-spot-in-group-d-despite-late-scare.html'>Aston Villa</a></strong> on Saturday
Saints fell to a narrow loss to Aston Villa on Saturday

That loss would be a reality check for Nathan Jones’ side, who had enjoyed consecutive wins over Crystal Palace, Man. City and then Everton. But focus now shifts away from the league, and Saints will be hopeful of replicating the performance that saw off Man. City in the last round.

Newcastle, meanwhile, were frustrated after firing a blank away at Crystal Palace on Saturday night. Joelinton, Callum Wilson and Alexander Isak all went close for the Magpies but couldn’t beat Vicente Guaita.

However, the draw meant that boss Howe became the first English manager in the Premier League to go 15 games unbeaten.

Having seen off Tranmere Rovers, Palace, Bournemouth and then Leicester City to reach the last four, the Magpies know that Wembley is within touching distance.

Team news

Nathan Jones revealed that Jan Bednarek could feature straight away after being recalled from his loan at Aston Villa. Tino Livramento, Stuart Armstrong, Armel Bella-Kotchap and Juan Larios remain long term absentees, whilst Theo Walcott is set to return to the matchday squad.

Newcastle, meanwhile, are set to name an unchanged side that drew at Palace. Bruno Guimaraes recovered from an ankle injury to start at Selhurst Park, whilst Elliot Anderson came onto the bench in place of Chris Wood – who has left for Nottingham Forest.

Predicted line-ups

Saints: Bazunu; Lyanco, Caleta-Car, Salisu, Walker-Peters; Lavia, Diallo; Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Orsic; Adams.

Magpies: Pope; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn; Longstaff, Guimaraes, Willock; Almiron, Wilson, Joelinton.

Key players

Saints have often relied on James Ward-Prowse for inspiration, but Romeo Lavia’s role in holding midfield has not gone unnoticed. The 19-year old midfielder has been linked with a move to Chelsea and is playing ‘way above’ his age according to team mate Theo Walcott.

Speaking to talkSPORT, he said: “It’s like he’s played over 200 games in the Premier League, that’s how much I rate him. It’s very interesting to see, watching him from the stands, obviously it looks so easy from the stands, it always does.”

Lavia has impressed when fit this campaign
Lavia has impressed when fit this campaign

Miguel Almiron continues to be at the heart of everything for Newcastle this season, with his inspirational form playing a big part in the Magpies’ success. The Paraguayan always looked like he had the potential – but under Howe the goals are now coming.

Against Leicester in the Carabao Cup quarter-final, he played a perfect ball to set up Joelinton – a pass that earned special praise from his boss – to set the north-east side up for their first semi-final for 18 years.

Almiron scored in the win at Southampton earlier this season
Almiron scored in the win at Southampton earlier this season

Match Details

The game is being played at St. Marys Stadium, Southampton. The game is scheduled to kick off at 20:00 GMT.

Those watching in the UK can tune in to watch live on Sky Sports Main Event from 19:00. Commentary will also be provided by BBC Radio Solent for those unable to watch on TV.

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