Every single year, Sunderland flirt with relegation before turning things around in Spring and enjoying a great escape at the end of the campaign. It’s been pretty much the same story this term, with the revival looking to have begun.
Having blown relegation-rivals Crystal Palace apart and taking points off of high-flying Tottenham, David Moyes’ side will be full of confidence this weekend as they welcome Southampton to the North East.
Under Claude Peul, the Saints have reached the League Cup final and have a genuine chance of bringing a trophy to the South Coast. However, their league form has been indifferent and Southampton risk being dragged into the battle.
Pointing out that Bournemouth, just a point below Southampton, are deemed to be in danger, Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson believes Sunderland can secure a victory this weekend and increase the pressure on the Saints.
“You could argue that Southampton are on the fringes of the battle for survival. If Bournemouth are then Saints have to be, given the fact they’re on the same amount of points. If Sunderland win this game they are in with a real chance of surviving. They looked together at Crystal Palace and got a great result, they will be brimming with confidence.”
Currently rock-bottom, a Sunderland victory could potentially see the Black Cats lift themselves out of the bottom three.