The apprentice will be looking to get on over on the master on Sunday as Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino goes up against Rafael Benítez, the man who first brought him to England, and Newcastle United.

Benítez was Liverpool manager when he signed the former centre-back in January 2005 from former club Valencia on a six-month deal after being frozen out by Claudio Ranieri.

The Argentine was unable to command a regular starting berth during his time at Anfield and moved onto Alavés – the club he left to join the Saints this summer – after six months.

However, all sentiment will be put to one side at 4pm on Sunday when the South Coast side host the Magpies in the day's late game.

The Saints have lost their last two, going down 2-1 at Stoke City before the international break and 1-0 against Manchester United prior to that. Already some of the complaints of last season have re-emerged and momentum is desperately needed.

Newcastle, meanwhile, took an encouraging point against Liverpool with a 1-1 draw in their last outing. Having fallen behind to a stunner from Barcelona transfer target Philippe Coutinho, Joselu levelled for the Magpies in fortuitous circumstances.

Southampton's big problem this season has been their lack of goals. Manolo Gabbiadini has failed to repeat his prolific form of last season, when he bagged six in his first four outings, while Charlie Austin and Shane Long have been in and out of the side.

Pellegrino's decision as to who leads the line should be simple, though, as Long is ruled out with a knock picked up on international duty with the Republic of Ireland. Left-back Matt Targett is the Saints' other absentee.

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