Rejuvenated Southampton will be without midfielder Stuart Armstrong for their trip to face Newcastle United at St. James’ Park due to a hamstring injury he picked last month, the south coast club have confirmed.
Moroccan winger Sofiane Boufal also remains a doubt with a toe injury, manager Ralph Hassenhuttl confirmed.
Southampton lie in 18th place in the Premier League standings but are inside the relegation zone only on goal difference after key victories against fellow relegation threatened teams Norwich and Watford last week.
Another win on Sunday can take the Saints as high as 12th in a tightly packed lower half of the table, provided other results go their way.
Boufal trained on Saturday for the first time since picking up the injury, which forced him to sit out the win against Norwich after substitute appearances against Watford and Arsenal.
It seems likely that he will the Southampton attacker will be restricted to another cameo off the bench at best.
Armstrong, who has made 10 appearances in the Premier League this season, may return against Burnley next week but is not an option for Hassenhuttl today.
The trip to Newcastle will be a tricky fixture for the Saints considering the Magpies haven’t lost at home since the opening day, defeating Manchester United and drawing with defending champions City in the process.
Newcastle, 11th in the table, won 2-0 at Sheffield United in midweek and will be looking to break into the top half with a win over Southampton on Sunday.