By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Newcastle United travel to the South Coast on Sunday to face newly-promoted Southampton in the Barclays Premier League (3pm kick-off).
The game sees Magpies boss Alan Pardew make his first return to St. Mary's Stadium since leaving in August 2010. Four months later he was appointed into the hotseat on Tyneside.
Newcastle go into the match on the back of a disappointing run, which has seen two defeats and a draw from three consecutive home games in league and Europa League action.
Southampton picked up only their second victory of the campaign last time out, as they triumphed away at fellow strugglers Queens Park Rangers.
Sunday's meeting is the 85th match between the two clubs, and the 73rd in the league. It is the first league meeting since January 2005, although the sides met in February 2006 at St. James' Park in the fifth round of the FA Cup, with United winning courtesy of a single Kieron Dyer strike.
Newcastle's allocation of tickets for this fixture have sold out.
February 18, 2006 - Newcastle 1 (Dyer 68) Southampton 0
Newcastle (4-4-2): Shay Given; Peter Ramage, Jean Alain Boumsong, Titus Bramble, Robbie Elliott; Nolberto Solano, Scott Parker, Emre, Charles N'Zogbia; Shola Ameobi (Albert Luque 70), Kieron Dyer (Lee Bowyer 76)
Southampton (4-4-2): Bartosz Bialkowski; Alexander Ostlund, Darren Powell, Claus Lundekvam (Darren Potter 45), Martin Cranie; Marian Pahars (Nathan Dyer 45), Matt Oakley, Jermaine Wright, Jim Brennan; Kenwyn Jones (Dexter Blackstock 77), Peter Madsen
FULL RECORD v SOUTHAMPTON
P84 W34 D19 L31 F126 A112
(Last six games - all competitions)
Newcastle - DLLDDW
Southampton - WDLLLL
Newcastle (v Maritimo, Europa League): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Davide Santon; Gael Bigirimana, Vurnon Anita; Sammy Ameobi (Mehdi Abeid 76), Hatem Ben Arfa (Demba Ba 40), Sylvain Marveaux; Papiss Cisse (Romain Amalfitano 50)
Not used: Rob Elliot, James Tavernier, Shane Ferguson, Mike Williamson
Southampton (v Queens Park Ranger, Premier League): Paulo Gazzaniga; Nathaniel Clyne, Maya Yoshida, Jose Fonte, Luke Shaw (Danny Fox 74); Jack Cork, Morgan Schneiderlin; Gaston Ramirez (Steven Davis 61), Adam Lallana, Jason Puncheon; Rickie Lambert (Jay Rodriguez 90)
Not used: Kelvin Davis, Jos Hooiveld, James Ward-Prowse, Emmanuel Mayuka
Newcastle - Captain Fabricio Coloccini serves the final game of this three-match ban, but fellow Argentine Jonas Gutierrez and defender James Perch could return from respective knee and thigh injuries. Papiss Cisse is a doubt with a thigh complaint, while Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring), Shola Ameobi (groin), Yohan Cabaye (groin), Ryan Taylor (knee), Dan Gosling (ankle), Haris Vuckic (knee), Gabriel Obertan (toe) and Xisco are all sidelined.
Southampton - Forward Gaston Ramirez has been passed fit to face the Magpies, despite coming off during last weekend's win at QPR with cramp. Saints have no fresh injury worries, with midfielder Richard Chaplow and full-back Frazer Richardson both still sidelined by knocks.
A WORD FROM BOTH CAMPS
Alan Pardew, Newcastle manager: "Southampton have done exceptionally well, there are fantastic players I love there and I'm looking forward to seeing them. It's nice to see they got a win last week. They will be buoyed by that and there's a great atmosphere in that stadium. I enjoyed my time there and am looking forward to going back."
Nigel Adkins, Southampton manager: "The players are buoyed from the last couple of performances and it has been a good week of training. The spirit has been good, and there is a confidence about the players. I think we have seen a growing maturity about the side who have become accustomed to the division now."
Martin Atkinson (Yorkshire) - 2012/13 record: 16 games, 64 yellow cards, one red card
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DID YOU KNOW?
Southampton are the only team in the Premier League without a clean sheet this season.