Southampton vs Sunderland preview: Saints and Black Cats hoping to end slide

A look ahead to the Premier League fixture at St Mary’s Stadium

It’s a big game for…

 

Jermain Defoe: Sunderland’s diminutive striker has struggled of late, scoring only one goal in his last seven appearances. With the Black Cats lying in 17th, level on points with both Norwich and Newcastle, it is imperative that Defoe gets out of this scoring rut if his team are to survive, a fact recognised this week by Sam Allardyce as he bemoaned the lack of goals his side have scored in the final third.

Weird stat...

0: Southampton have won none of their last 11 Premier League matches in which the opposition has scored, dating back to 3 October.

Remember when…

Santiago Vergini curled this stunning volley into the back of the net to open the scoring during the corresponding fixture in 2014. Unfortunately for the Italian defender, it was perhaps the greatest own-goal the Premier League has ever seen and opened the floodgates for what ultimately turned into an 8-0 Southampton win.

Player to watch…

Graziano Pelle: Pelle has failed to make any real impact in Ronald Koeman’s side this season and the Italian hitman has only started 2 games in 2016. Southampton go into this weekend’s match without the injured Shane Long and Charlie Austin, presenting a massive opportunity for Pelle to get a run of games in the team and attempt to recapture the form that saw him end last season as the club’s top-scorer. Sunderland have failed to keep a clean sheet since November and Pelle will surely be licking his lips at the prospect of facing the Black Cats.

Past three-meetings…

Sunderland 0 Southampton 1 (Tadic) , Premier League, November 2015

Sunderland 2 (Gomez 2) Southampton 1 (Mané), Premier League, May 2015

Southampton 8 (Vergini og, Pelle 2, Cork, Bridcutt og, Tadic, Wanyama, van Aanholt og), Premier League, October 2014

Form guide…

Southampton: WDWWLL

Sunderland: DLDWLD

Vital information…

KICK-OFF TIME: 15:00

TV: Highlights on BBC1- Match of the Day 10.20pm

Comments