Southampton vs Sunderland Preview: Puel and Moyes eye up a place in the quarter final

Southampton and Sunderland face each other tonight with the winner booking a place in the last eight of the EFL Cup.

Southampton vs Sunderland Preview: Puel and Moyes eye up a place in the quarter final
Photo: Getty

Southampton take on Sunderland in the EFL Cup tonight, as both teams aim to reach the quarter finals of the competition. 

The Black Cats have only won matches in this competition so far this season, whilst Southampton are in a good vein of form recently. 

The build up

As mentioned, Sunderland have failed to taste victory in the league this season, however, they have found a way to beat Shrewsbury and Queens Park Rangers to reach the last 16 of this tournament. The heat is already on manager David Moyes, and although a good run in this competition wouldn't have been expected before the season started, it is now imperative Sunderland win this game to ease the pressure. 

Moyes is feeling the pressure as Sunderland's woes continue. Photo: Getty
Moyes is feeling the pressure as Sunderland's woes continue. Photo: Getty

Southampton, on the other hand, are playing well and picking up impressive results. The Saints came close to beating Italian giants Inter Milan last week, before they held Manchester City to a draw at the Etihad Stadium. New boss Claude Puel has hit the ground running since arriving from Nice and fans are happy with the style of football he has brought to the club. 

Southampton have only lost one of their last eleven matches, whilst Sunderland have only won one of their last eight. 

Team news

Sunderland are without some key figures for tonight's fixture, as Patrick Van Aanholt and Jack Rodwell have both picked up niggles in training. Victor Anichebe is fully fit and will probably lead the line, with youngster Joel Asoro also set to be included. 

Joel Asoro will get another chance tonight. Photo: Getty
Joel Asoro will get another chance tonight. Photo: Getty

Moyes addressed the press earlier this week and told them he had to "be careful" with the likes of Jermain Defoe and John O'Shea, as playing them three times is "a lot to ask".

Southampton have also had their fair share of injuries as of late. Ryan Bertrand is sidelined, which gives Sam McQueen the chance to continue his form since he made his debut against Burnley ten days ago.

Head to Head

Sunderland have only won of their last five meetings with the Saints. The South Coast outfit famously beat Sunderland 8-0 in this fixture two years ago and will be hoping for a repeat this evening. 

The two clubs have never faced each other in this competition but when the Premier League teams last met in the FA Cup, Southampton were defeated 1-0 courtesy of a Craig Gardner goal. 

Sunderland have beaten Southampton 24 times in their history.