Southampton have rightly been the beneficiaries of fulsome praise for their sustained assault on the Champions League qualification places.
However, surprisingly little of it has focused on just how much of a bunch of grinders they are when it comes to picking up points on the road.
Seven of the Saints’ last eight away games in all competitions have seen fewer than three strikes scored, while six if of those fixtures saw under 1.5 goals find the net.
Making the 323-mile trip from their temperate south coast base to play in icy Newcastle is hardly likely to loosen them up either and their clash with the Magpies is 39/50 to turn up under 2.5 goals.
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This weekend circumstances have conspired to make Southampton even more preoccupied with being hard to beat than normal, thanks to a cluster of injuries to key players.
Victor Wanyama ducked out of their dour FA Cup third-round replay win in Ipswich to join Morgan Schneiderlin, Toby Alderweireld and Sadio Mane on the injury list.
With another centre-half, Maya Yoshida, away on Asian Cup duty, Ronald Koeman chose to employ an extra-robust 3-5-2 at Portman Road.
The upshot was a solid performance in which they were rarely troubled, albeit one lacking in attacking inspiration.
Yet the Dutch tactician’s threadbare squad may mean he must persevere with the seldom-tried configuration.
As a result, attempting to justify 7/5 favouritism may well prove an arduous task at St James’ Park, where they have failed to prevail since their return to the top flight.
Newcastle meanwhile, outsiders at 19/10, have been the beneficiaries of farcically generous defending when scoring three times in each their last two home games.
Against a Southampton side expected to be doubly pragmatic due to their current situation they won’t be so lucky, making the 9/4 on the draw most attractive win/draw/win bet.