Newcastle manager Alan Pardew returns to his former club Sputhampton in desperate need of a victory after two losses on the bounce at home halted their charge up the English Premier League table.
The Magpies suffered two successive defeats to West Ham and Swansea, and Pardew will take a team battered by injuries and suspensions, against a Southampton side buoyed by their 3-1 victory over QPR last weekend.
Pardew said he has no hard feeling towards the Saints, after the club chairman Nicola Cortese fired the current Newcastle manager out of the blue two years ago.
"Was I mentally scarred after getting sacked? No, I was quite happy about it if I'm honest," Pardew said. "I thought I'd done a good job but it was proving to be very, very difficult to work with Mr. Cortese.
"It wasn't a case of jumping before being pushed. No, I don't think I would ever do that. But it was a difficult period working with Mr. Cortese. We just didn't see eye to eye.
"There was no nastiness in there, he just didn't want me as his manager. I think that was obviously coming through to me.
"I had a great relationship with the fans, though, and our performances were strong bearing in mind we had minus 10 points and didn't really have a starting XI when I arrived.
"But the over-riding factor for me was the players I left behind -- I'm talking Jose Fonte, (Adam) Lallana, (Rickie) Lambert, Jason Puncheon -- who I took to the club.
"They are all in the first team and I am very proud of that because they are all terrific lads and have all done really well.
"And I think they have improved this year, probably enough for the club to stay in the Premier League."
Newcastle will be without Fabricio Coloccini (suspended), Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring) and Yohan Cabaye, while Shola Ameobi and Gabriel Obertan are doubts. Jonas Guttierez and Papiss Cisse, though, are expected to be fit for the game.
For Southampton, Frazer Richardson and Richard Chaplow are the only ones missing.
Expected lineups: Southampton: Gazzaniga; Clyne, Fonte, Tashida, Shaw; Schneiderlin, Cork; Puncheon, Ramirez, Lallana; Lambert.
Newcastle: Krul; Simpson, Taylor, Williamson, Santon; Anita, Tiote; Guttierez, Ferguson, Cisse; Ba.
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