This article forms part of our Last Time Out feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how a player fared against his team’s next opponent the last time the two sides faced off.
Shane Long was probably unlucky to find himself on the losing team when Southampton last took on Newcastle United in the Premier League.
He did not score but, overall, he led the line well in that 2-1 defeat at St. James’ Park. In fact, on WhoScored, no Saints player topped his 7.6 match rating. So when Southampton look to take their revenge later today, Ralph Hasenhuttl will be asking for a similar performance and hoping for a goal to go with it.
During that encounter at St. James’ Park, Long won an incredible 14 aerial duels. To put that number into perspective, the next highest tally recorded by a Southampton player was four, showing how well the 33-year-old did in the air that day.
If he can dominate the air like that once again and nod balls down to Danny Ings, then Newcastle could end up leaving St. Mary’s with nothing. While Long has not been prolific this term, scoring just the two league goals, Ings has been anything but.
Does Shane Long deserve more credit?
The former Liverpool man has found the back of the net on 15 occasions in English football’s top flight in the current campaign so, alongside Long’s aerial threat which he showed in the reverse fixture, the two could combine to give Steve Bruce a real headache.
Southampton fans, can Long inspire the team to victory over Newcastle? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!
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