Premier League talking points

1 MAGPIES LOOK SHOT SHY

Newcastle ended the 1-0 loss at Burnley with four forwards on the pitch, but failed to muster a shot on target between them on Saturday.

Andy Carroll has not scored a league goal since April last year and his lack of match sharpness means it will be a surprise when he does.

With live-wire winger Allan Saint-Maximin injured, Newcastle manager Steve Bruce might need a better plan than swopping between him and Joelinton in the hope that one finds form. It could be time to give Dwight Gayle another chance to prove he is a top-flight striker.

2 GODFREY TURNING HEADS

It has not happened often enough this season but Norwich's brightest talents all came to the fore at once on Saturday, and more performances like the 1-1 draw at Leicester could yet haul them out of the relegation mire.

The most convincing of all was Ben Godfrey, who would reportedly set suitors back £50 million (S$90.4 million) if the Canaries get their way. On this evidence, he may be worth that kind of investment. If the worst does happen in May, then you suspect that, in whatever they receive for the England Under-21 defender, Norwich will essentially have an extra parachute payment.

3 SAINTS TAKE ANOTHER STEP BACK

One step forward, two steps back. Two wins on the bounce were followed by back-to-back defeats and a pervading sense that Southampton are treading water.

The flat performance in the 1-0 home loss to West Ham was the latest concern for Ralph Hasenhuttl. Worryingly, sluggish starts seem to be a recurring theme for third-from-bottom Southampton, who have taken just eight points from the last 33.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 17, 2019, with the headline 'Premier League talking points'. Print Edition | Subscribe