Newcastle to reach first cup final this century
Newcastle United have a one-goal and home advantage heading into the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final against Southampton at St. James' Park.The hosts last appeared in a domestic final in 1999, when they lost to Manchester United in the FA Cup. Keeping yet another clean sheet would be sufficient to see them safely through, but the Saints will scrap and battle to deny the Toon Army their chance of silverware. Read our preview here:
Tripp to Wembley?
Eddie Howe and his recruitment team moved quickly to prise young forward Anthony Gordon away from troubled strugglers Everton for a sizeable fee, but the 21 year old will be cup tied and therefore out of contention on Tuesday night. Right-back Harrison Ashby, who's the same age as Gordon, has also joined from another Premier League side - West Ham United. The right-back will look to eventually push the much more senior Kieran Trippier for a place in the tightest back four/five in the top 92 in English football. The hosts will stick with the same XI that ought to have won more handsomely in their first leg last week, with Joelinton being preferred on the left of the attacking midfield three to the more expansive Allan Saint-Maximin.
Mis of the season
Nathan Jones' side had a morale boosting 2-1 win over Championship outfit Blackpool, prolonging their stay in the FA Cup and handing them another home tie in the fifth round to boot. Duje Ćaleta-Car was sent off in the first leg, but could make a swift return to the XI after serving his suspension at the weekend. He will contest the right sided centre back berth with Armel Bella-Kotchap, who played in the Croatian international's absence. His compatriot Mislav Oršić joined the Saints earlier this month from Dinamo Zagreb, with Jones desperate for some experience and attacking thrust away from the usual suspects. He's had a slow start to life in Hampshire, but could be an instant hero to the travelling supporters should he get the better of Trippier down the flank and get amongst the goals.
Southampton won't go down without a fight, so bet365's odds of 3.60 for a Newcastle win on the night with both teams scoring looks appealing.