Sunderland vs Southampton Preview: Wearsiders look to get off bottom against out of form Saints

Sunderland vs Southampton Preview: Wearsiders look to get off bottom against out of form Saints

Sunderland have been in the relegation zone since August, but all that could be about to change.

jamie-joslyn
Jamie Joslyn

Sunderland host an out of form Southampton side on Saturday knowing a win could lift them out of the Premier League relegation zone.  

A day to remember

Despite being bottom of the league, Sunderland come into this game buoyant after producing arguably one of their best away performances in their Premier League history at Crystal Palace last week. David Moyes side ran out 4-0 winners at Selhurst park with all four goals coming in the first half after strikes from Lamine Kone, Didier N'Dong and a brace from Jermain Defoe.

The victory was all the more sweeter against a former manager in Sam Allardyce and a player who had just left them for a relegation rival in the form of left back, Patrick Van Aanholt. The main importance of the big win though, was to keep in touch with Palace and their other relegation rivals, with the bottom six in the top flight now only separated by two points.

A day to forget

Unlike their hosts, Southampton will want to forget the last Premier League matchday in a hurry after they went down 3-1 at home to West Ham United. Things had started well for Claude Puel's side after record signing Manolo Gabbiadini gave them an early lead against the Hammers, but then goals from Andy Carroll, Pedro Obiang and Mark Noble left the St Mary's faithful far from content.

The defeat last week has really confirmed the idea of the Saints' hangover after reaching the EFL Cup final, with the defeat to West Ham being their third in as many games since beating Liverpool at Anfield to book their place at Wembley. However, Puel's side are only seven points above the relegation zone and will want to get a positive result in their last outing before the final.

Team news

Sunderland lost Adnan Januzaj, John O'Shea and Jack Rodwell to knocks at Crystal Palace last week, fortunately Rodwell is the only one who will miss this game with a hamstring injury.

Young star goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has resumed light training this week, but Saturday will be too soon for the local born stopper.

Sofiane Boufal will miss this game with an anke injury he picked up last week, meaing he joins star defender Virgil Van Dijk on the sidelines who has the same injury problem.

Stats

Sunderland have not been out of the relegation zone since August after drawing 1-1 at Southampton in the reverse league fixture.

There has not been a goaless draw in this fixture in any competition since 1978, the 37 meetings since then have had at least one goal.

Sunderland have kept back to back clean sheets, that's as many as they'd kept in 22 previous league games under Moyes.

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