Southampton have delivered an upturn in performances in recent weeks to suggest their current league position does not justify their overall ability.
The Saints are 17th, above the relegation zone just on goal difference, have picked up three wins in their past five matches and eight points from their last four home games.
Sunderland have won just two of their previous thirteen in all competitions although their three recent defeats have occurred against a resurgent Norwich, Chelsea and away to Manchester United.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Southampton 1 (Saganowski) Sunderland 2 (Edwards, Leadbitter), Championship, April 2007
Sunderland 1 (Wallace) Southampton 1 (Bale) Championship, November 2006
Sunderland 0 Southampton 1 (Beattie), Premier League, January 2003
Southampton are three points better off than at this stage of the 2004-05 season, their most recent Premier League campaign when hey finished 20th under Harry Redknapp.
Martin O'Neill's men are looking to score in five consecutive matches for the first time in 2010/13.
The Black Cats have won just one of their last 16 Premier League away fixtures (W1, D7, L8).
No side have taken fewer points from losing positions than Sunderland (one) in the Premier League this season.
Southampton to win: 2.06
Sunderland to win: 4
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