‘Absolutely flying’ - Newcastle United man tipped for World Cup place as Magpies face ‘unpredictable’ Southampton

Newcastle United go in search of four wins on the spin when they travel to St Mary’s on Sunday.

The Magpies head to the south coast full of confidence after wins over Everton, Spurs and Aston Villa has them sitting in fourth place in the league table. One of the main reasons for this upturn in form is the return of Callum Wilson to the first-team fold following injury problems that temporarily halted his season in August.

Wilson’s brace against Villa last weekend was watched by Gareth Southgate who now has a major decision to make ahead of his final World Cup squad announcement - one that is expected on November 10. For Chris Sutton, Wilson’s form makes him a shoe-in for the World Cup, explaining that Eddie Howe is one of the major reasons for his current exploits in-front of goal.

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NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29: Newcastle striker Callum Wilson (c) celebrates after scoring his second goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa at St. James Park on October 29, 2022 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Sutton told BBC Sport: “I love what Eddie Howe is doing at United. They have got a really nice balance to the team, and are stingy defensively.

“Howe has not just bought that improvement with the players he has signed - he is getting much more out of the United players who were already at St James' Park when he arrived 12 months ago.

“United striker Callum Wilson is one of them, and I think he must go to the World Cup with England. The worry with Wilson is always his injury problems, but he is fit and absolutely flying at the moment.”

Sutton, in his weekly predictions blog, is forecasting a 2-0 win for the Magpies against Southampton on Sunday, describing the hosts as an ‘unpredictable’ outfit. Sutton wrote: “Southampton are very up and down - I say that all the time, but the best example is how good they were in the second half against Arsenal recently, compared with how bad they had been before the break.

“That makes it very difficult to predict what we will see from Saints week-to-week, whereas United are on such a high at the moment and they have found some consistency that is helping them get these good results.”

A win for Newcastle would, at least for a couple of hours on Sunday evening, move them into third-place in the Premier League table.