Newcastle travel to St. Mary’s later today, looking for their first win of the season when they take on Southampton.
Rafael Benitez’s men currently sit rock bottom of the Premier League table having taken just two points from their opening nine fixtures, although they have had to play Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United in quick succession.
Nevertheless, it has still been a shocking start to the campaign for the club, and Benitez will now be expecting his players including captain Jamaal Lascelles to go up the gears over the coming weeks starting with their clash against the Saints.
Lascelles, specifically, could be in for a tough game with Southampton striker Danny Ings having looked very dangerous this term since arriving at St. Mary’s from Liverpool on deadline day.
The 26-year-old has not been as potent in the Saints’ last couple of Premier League games, missing some big chances in his side’s 3-0 defeat to Chelsea, but still remains a massive threat on the pitch with his movement.
That being said, on his day, Lascelles is one of the most capable central defenders in the Premier League. And outside of the top six, there are not too many better centre-halves than the Newcastle skipper, if any.
Aerially, Lascelles is so dominant while his leadership skills at the back have become so important for the Magpies.
All in all, with Southampton not exactly firing on all cylinders either, Lascelles will fancy his chances going up against Ings and whatever else Mark Hughes’ attack has to offer.