Southampton’s spirits will be high after their well earned draw against Bournemouth in Dorset on Saturday.
Bournemouth are flying-high in the Premier League this season, and Mark Hughes will be particularly pleased that his side were able to keep a clean sheet against a team that have been free scoring.
What will also be pleasing to the Welshman is the performances of some of his players. The Saints haven’t had the greatest start to their Premier League campaign, only winning the one game, and while results will be important, consistently high performances by his players is what will ultimately keep his team afloat in the Premier League.
One man, therefore, that Hughes can be happy with, and expect big things from today against Newcastle, is midfielder Pierre-Emile Højbjerg. The Dane is already the leading passer and tackler for The Saints so far this campaign, as well as making the second-most interceptions, but he is becoming a growing influence further up the field.
The midfielder already has two goals for The Saints this season, but he looked to be a real goal threat against Bournemouth on Saturday. Not only was he very close to scoring against The Cherries, but he came very close to assisting Charlie Austin with a brilliant pass. If he keeps his performances at that standard, it will not be long before The Saints see themselves climbing up the Premier League table.
Hughes knows that he will be facing a Newcastle team desperate to win at St Mary’s today. Rafa Benítez’s men are looking for their first three points of the season and will throw everything at The Saints. The manager can expect Højbjerg to put in a shift defensively, but it is his growing attacking influence that may take his team to the next level.