This game is one which is set to be a desperate scrap to put some distance between the relegation zone for both sides. Southampton will know that pressure will be on them to deliver being the home side. They will be aware just how stifling that can be when they ambushed QPR in a similar fixture at Loftus Road earlier in the season.
The Saints have been more than a match for most sides this season at St Mary’s and have already secured crucial home wins against Villa, Reading and their opponents bitter rivals Newcastle.
Nigel Adkins men are on a good run at the moment having lost only one in six and even that was a battling display which ended in a narrow 1-0 defeat at Anfield. They will go into this fixture in buoyant mood that they continue their good form.
The Black Cats will be hoping they can kick into gear a lot earlier than they did last week against Manchester United. When Frazier Campbell scored late on in they were already 3-0 down by this stage and it was a case of too little too late.
Steven Fletcher may have gone off at half time with an injury last time out but looks set to recover to fulfil the role of being the lone man upfront.
Danny Rose faces a late fitness check for Sunderland, while Phil Bardsley, Lee Cattermole and long-term absentee Wes Brown remain out of action.
The hosts look set to be without key performer Adam Lallana with a knee problem. Goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga remains out with a shoulder injury.
Southampton have been given the fewest cards in the Premier League this season (15 yellows, 0 reds). They will be hoping to keep calm heads on Saturday and secure 3 points.
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