Last season’s meeting: Southampton 0-1 Sunderland - St Mary’s Stadium, 22nd December 2012
There’s no doubt that Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio has told the team what he thinks of their first performance of the season. You can expect some sort of reaction from his players because they cannot afford to start the season badly and end up in another relegation scrap.
Meanwhile Southampton could hand a debut to £12m striker Pablo Osvaldo, they look to be a team on the rise at the moment and come into this match with a lot of momentum and confidence. With the talent in their squad they should be aiming for a top half finish this season.
I can only see this being a home win; Sunderland won’t have enough to overcome the Rickie Lambert led team who since Nigel Adkins was sacked haven’t really looked back. It won’t be a high scoring game if previous meetings are anything to go by (three goals in two meetings last season).
A crucial point for the Saints as they all but confirmed their Premier League status for another season. Sunderland on the other hand needed the three points; they were being dragged closer and closer to the relegation places but narrowly avoided the drop on the last day of the season.
image: © mischatuffield