Southampton v Newcastle United: Early team news as Nathan Jones provides major update on ex-Arsenal man
Nathan Jones has revealed two of Southampton’s new signings could feature when they face Newcastle United this evening.
The Saints overcame Manchester City in the quarter-final to set up the clash with Eddie Howe’s side which will be played over two-legs, the first of which takes place tonight when Southampton welcome Newcastle to St Mary’s. The Magpies defeated their opponents 4-1 on the south coast in November, however, with new management in tow and a renewed optimism following some good results under Jones, it promises to be a very different encounter this time around.
And Jones has revealed that new signings Mislav Orsic, who joined from Dinamo Zagreb this month, and Carlos Alcaraz are ‘up to pace’ with the demands he sets for his team, meaning they could play a major role in tonight’s match. Jones also revealed that Theo Walcott, who has a fantastic record against the Magpies, with seven goals and six assists against them during his long career in England, may also be available for selection. He said: “You can be too bold with them or more silly with them and then you lose them but now we’re at a stage where everyone is up to pace.
“We’ve got Theo Walcott back as well which gives us something, Armel [Bella Kotchap] is closer. We’ve obviously got Janny B [Jan Bednarek] in who can also play because he played in the first game, I think, so we’re in a lot stronger position in terms of options.
“We’re going to need it because we’ve got Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday and then Saturday again so the squad is going to be needed and we’re going to need the aggression and energy."
Stuart Amrstrong and Armel Bella-Kotchap may also be in-line for a return this evening, but long-term absentee Tino Livramento, who is yet to feature for the Saints this campaign, will miss both legs of the semi-final. On Livramentos’ progress, Jones said: “Tino’s probably the furthest away in terms of we’ve got to be really careful with him. Not that it’s a bad injury but we’ve got to be really careful with Tino and we’re going to.”