Pellegrino takes on former boss Benitez as Southampton face Newcastle

Rafael Benitez, Manager of Newcastle United looks on during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool at St. James Park on October 1, 2017 in Newcastle upon Tyne,...

Mauricio Pellegrino faces Rafa Benitez, his former boss as both a player and coach, when Southampton host Newcastle.

Mauricio Pellegrino, Manager of Southampton gives his team instructions during the Premier League match between Stoke City and Southampton at Bet365 Stadium on September 30, 2017 in Stoke...Mauricio Pellegrino, manager of Southampton, gives his team instructions during the Premier League match against Stoke City.

It has not been an easy start to life as manager of Southampton for Mauricio Pellegrino with his side currently 12th in the Premier League table after three defeats from their opening seven games.

Goals have been hard to come by, with only Everton and the bottom three having scored fewer than their five, and Pellegrino has already come under fire from fans on social media for his tactics, poor performances and an apparent lack of attacking flair.

Mauricio Pellegrino, Manager of Southampton looks on prior to the Premier League match between Southampton and Manchester United at St Mary's Stadium on September 23, 2017 in Southampton,...Mauricio Pellegrino looks on prior to the Premier League match between Southampton and Manchester United.

Therefore the Argentine will be looking to kickstart his first season at St Mary's when his side host Newcastle United on Sunday (October 15).

This clash may hold extra significance for Pellegrino as it will also see the former defender come up against Rafa Benitez; the man who first brought him to English football in 2005 when he signed for Liverpool and whom he later worked under as a coach with both the Reds and Inter Milan.

The 46-year-old will therefore know exactly what Benitez is all about, which may not be a good thing when a victory is about the only thing that will relieve some of the pressure already coming his way.

Rafael Benitez, Manager of Newcastle United looks on during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool at St. James Park on October 1, 2017 in Newcastle upon Tyne,...Rafael Benitez, manager of Newcastle United, looks on during the Premier League match against Liverpool.

Unlike the tactical criticism being aimed at Pellegrino, the Spaniard is known to be a master of getting the best out of his players through organisation and adhering to his carefully thought through plans.

The apprentice would love to beat the master, but a win for Benitez and his Magpies team could see his protege's position at the Hampshire club being seriously questioned.

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