The home side have had a blistering start to the season and had two reasons to be pleased this week as striker Graziano Pelle and manager Ronald Koeman won the player and manager of the month awards.
Even though they were beaten in their previous fixture, the Saints had won their last four games and Koeman would have been delighted at his side’s performances.
At the start of season, Southampton fans would have been worrying about the team, as they were being tipped to struggle following the mass exodus of last season’s first team squad. They will however be thankful that their new signings have settled in quickly, in what looks like shrewd business from the Saints.
It’s been a story of mixed fortunes for the Black Cats, as Gus Poyet’s side have only won one of their Premier League games this season but as of yet have only been beaten once.
They will be buoyed following their win at home to Stoke and be full of confidence going into this fixture but Poyet will be aware that Southampton offers a much sterner opposition. Steven Fletcher and Conor Wickham who both got on the score sheet last time out will face a tough test against the strongest defence in the top four tiers of English football.
However the Black Cats are somewhat of a bogey team for the Saints, having not lost to them in nine games previously. Poyet’s men will hope to inflict some damage on the Saint’s and dent their European qualification hopes, while boosting their chances of avoiding a relegation scrap.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Sunderland 1 (Gardner) Southampton 0, FA Cup, Feb 14
Sunderland 2 (Borini, Johnson) Southampton 2 (Rodriguez, Lovren), Premier League, Jan 14
Sunderland 2 (Bardsley, Larsson) Southampton 1 (Yoshida), League Cup, Nov 13
Southampton have won more Premier League points in 2014 (42) than both Everton (41) and Manchester United (41)
The Black Cats have suffered only one defeat in their last six Premier League away games (W2 D3 L1)
Steven Fletcher scored two goals from just two shots on target in his last Premier League appearance for Sunderland; this after failing to score in his previous nine PL games in 2014
Graziano Pellè has been involved in five goals in his last five Premier League appearances (four goals, one assist)
No side in the top four tiers of English football have conceded as few goals as Southampton (5) this season
Southampton to win: 1.57
Sunderland to win: 7
TV: Highlights on BBC1 at 10.30pm.Reuse content