League Cup- Magpies, Red Devils aim to reach final

By Soccer Blog | Jan 30, 2023

Newcastle United will be aiming to reach a Cup final for the first time in nearly two and a half decades when they host struggling Southampton at St.James’ Park in the second leg of their semi-final. The Magpies hold a slender 1-0 lead from the first leg on the South Coast, which they won thanks to Joelinton’s second half strike.

With some better finishing in the first leg, Newcastle could’ve easily run out more comfortable winners- Joelinton missed an absolute sitter before atoning for it with his goal. The likes of Joe Willock, Sean Longstaff and Sven Botman also wasted some very good chances, and the Magpies needed goalkeeper Nick Pope (another clean sheet for him btw!) to produce some fine saves at the end to keep their lead intact. Southampton also had an Adam Armstrong goal disallowed for offside, and finished the tie with ten men after defender Duje Caleta-Car was sent off for a second bookable offence.


Caleta-Car however did serve his suspension over the weekend in the FA Cup, and is therefore available for the trip to the North-East. Newcastle fans wanting to see new signing Anthony Gordon in action will have to wait a little longer- the medio is Cup-tied, and is therefore only likely to make his Magpies bow against West Ham.

Eddie Howe’s men are third in the league currently and are unbeaten in their last six home games against Southampton, who are bottom of the table going into this clash. It probably therefore comes as no surprise that the pre-match odds via freebets.ltd.uk have Newcastle as strong favourites to progress to the final, where they are likely to face Manchester United. Alexander Isak and Allan Saint-Maximin were excellent off the bench against Saints away from home, and both players will be pushing for a start in the second leg.

The Magpies’ last Cup final appearance was back in 1999 in the FA Cup, and interestingly, their opponents that time were the Red Devils, who prevailed 2-0 thanks to goals from Teddy Sheringham and Paul Scholes.

Man United virtually have one foot in the final after beating Nottingham Forest 3-0 in the first leg of the other semi-final at the City Ground. Marcus Rashford opened the scoring for Erik Ten Hag’s men in the 6th minute, with Wout Weghorst’s first ever goal for the club doubling their advantage just before the interval. Bruno Fernandes added a third towards the end to put United in the drivers’ seat ahead of the return clash at Old Trafford.


Both Forest and Newcastle had the weekend off, while Southampton and United were in action in the FA Cup. Saints edged Blackpool 2-1 thanks to Romain Perraud’s brace while United beat Reading 3-1, with Casemiro netting twice for the Red Devils.

Not many teams in the history of the tournament have advanced to the final after losing the first leg of their last four tie. Stoke of 1972 and Arsenal of 1987 both come to mind, and both teams went on to lift the Cup. Southampton will probably put everything into this game, but Newcastle, with a strong defence and Nick Pope in goal, should be expected to book their spot in the final.

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