Dubai: High-flying Newcastle take a 1-0 lead against Southampton from the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final aiming to complete the job tomorrow night at St James’ Park in the second leg.
Joelinton gave the Magpies the advantage at St. Mary’s at the halfway point of the tie and coach Eddie Howe will be confident his side will make it to the final of the competition for the first time since 1976, which they lost to Manchester City, where they will likely face Manchester United who have a 3-0 first leg lead over Nottingham Forest.
Newcastle have lacked a bit of cutting edge in their recent Premier League matches but Howe will be hoping they are back to their swashbuckling best as they look to win their first piece of silverware since their 1954-55 FA Cup triumph.
But the Saints are aiming to become only the third team in EFL Cup history to reach the showpiece after losing the first leg at home. Stoke City and Arsenal achieved the feat in 1972 and 1987 respectively.
Newcastle will be without Jonjo Shelvey, Emil Krafth and Matt Targett for the second leg while Southampton’s Moussa Djenepo suffered concussion after being clattered at the weekend and may have to sit out. Juan Larios, Valentino Livramento and Alex McCarthy remain absent for the visitors but centre-back Caleta-Car served a one-match suspension in the FA Cup on Saturday and will be available to return to the backline.
With just a one-goal deficit to make up against a Newcastle side who are hardly ruthless in front of goal, Nathan Jones’s side have a chance and if free-kick specialist James Ward-Prowse is presented with any opportunities from the edge of the box he will more than likely take them. This tie is definitely not over yet and we could be in for a very exciting 90 minutes and possibly penalties.