Not even an imminent second lockdown can dampen the spirits of the Southampton faithful at the moment, with the Saints now boasting four wins from their last five in the Premier League - a tally which no other team can better.
A James Ward-Prowse-inspired Southampton picked up all three points against an equally-impressive Aston Villa side last Sunday, with the 26-year-old's two sweetly-struck free-kicks coming after Jannik Vestergaard had opened the scoring and before Danny Ings rifled in a thunderous effort in the second half.
However, having lost Jan Bednarek to injury at the start of the second 45, Villa notched up a trio of goals against the Saints - with Ollie Watkins and Jack Grealish both netting in added time - but Ralph Hasenhuttl's Southampton nevertheless held on for a thrilling victory which has lifted them up to fifth in the table.
The South Coast outfit have also triumphed over Burnley, West Bromwich Albion and Everton over the past few weeks, although their weekend victory over Villa was marred by the loss of star striker Ings, who is now set for at least a month on the sidelines as he prepares to undergo knee surgery.
Southampton are sure to struggle a bit more for goals without the 28-year-old leading the line, but Hasenhuttl will no doubt be urging his players to not let the loss of Ings affect them as the Saints bid to pick up where they left off, with Newcastle also looking to claim another three points after an impressive victory over Everton in gameweek seven.
With Everton starting to slip away from the top of the rankings after such a bright start to the campaign, Newcastle took advantage of the Toffees' troubles as they claimed all three points against Carlo Ancelotti's men last Sunday.
As expected, Dominic Calvert-Lewin found the back of the net for Everton once again, but it was another English striker who won the day as Callum Wilson's double took his tally to six for the league season and propelled Newcastle to their third win of the 2020-21 top-flight campaign.
Everton had previously lost to Southampton prior to their trip to St James' Park, so Newcastle will certainly have to be at the top of their game if they are to replicate such a performance and make the long journey to the South Coast count for something, although the Magpies are yet to taste defeat on the road this season.
Recent history suggests that the Magpies could certainly pick up a second win on the bounce this Friday; Steve Bruce's side did the double over Southampton last season and the Saints have not overcome their opponents since the 2015-16 campaign.
Southampton Premier League form: LWWDWW
Newcastle United Premier League form: LDWLDW
Newcastle United form (all competitions): DWWLDW
As mentioned, Ings is expected to be out for up to six weeks with the knee injury sustained against Villa, Hasenhuttl confirmed, which could see Theo Walcott thrust into a role up top alongside Che Adams.
As for the visitors, Bruce is still without his quartet of absentees in Jonjo Shelvey, Martin Dubravka, Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle, but the Magpies boss has no fresh concerns from the bout with Everton.
Ryan Fraser and Isaac Hayden both made appearances off the bench last time out and will hope to force their way into the starting lineup, but Bruce is unlikely to make many alterations from the triumph over Everton.
Southampton possible starting lineup:
McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Vestergaard, Stephens, Bertrand; Redmond, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Armstrong; Walcott, Adams
Newcastle United possible starting lineup:
Darlow; Lascelles, Schar, Fernandez; Murphy, Hayden, Hendrick, Lewis; Saint-Maximin, Wilson, Fraser
We say: Southampton 2-1 Newcastle United
Despite losing the prolific Ings for the next few weeks, last weekend's victory at Villa proved that Southampton have goals in abundance in other areas of the pitch, and they can feel confident of chalking up a couple of strikes against a Newcastle side without a clean sheet since the first gameweek of the season. Hasenhuttl's men are enjoying a terrific spell of form and we expect them to record a third consecutive victory here, but Newcastle are sure to make it a difficult evening for them nonetheless.
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