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    Southampton confident ahead of trip to the Stadium of Light.

    Southampton are in a good vein of form ahead of this weekend’s trip to the Stadium of Light.

    The 2-0 victory against Bournemouth kept up their push for the Europa League places.

    The match was a game of two halves as Steve Davis and Graziano Pelle scored against their South Coast rivals as Southampton dominated the first half.

    Bournemouth controlled the remaining 45 minutes but were unable to capitalise on their improved display.

    Virgil Van Dijk
    Sunderland were on the end of a 6-2 thumping by Everton. Gerard Deulofeu scored his first goal for his new club since signing from Sevilla this summer.

    Arouna Kone scored his first hat-trick for the Toffees in between a Sebastian Coates own goal and fellow strike partner Romelu Lukaku netting his eighth goal of the season.

    The Black Cats are second from bottom and Sam Allardyce has a big job on his hands to keep his team in the Premier League.

    Southampton are currently unbeaten in five games in the top flight and Sunderland will have to improve on last weekend’s performance.

     The team from the North East did win the Tyne Wear derby two weeks ago, but the sending of Fabrizio Coloccini was contentious and changed the game in the favour of this weekend’s hosts.

    Sunderland will be without Lee Cattermole as he is suffering from a groin problem. John O’Shea and Fabio Borini also return to boost Sam Allardyce first team selection

    Further good news for the Black Cats boss as Former Tottenham defender Younes Kaboul is also available as well as Ola Toivonen.

    Victor Wanyama is suspended after picking up two yellow cards against Bournemouth. Shane Long and Jay Rodriguez are also missing as both recovering from knee and foot injuries respectively.

    Sam Allardyce is aware of the task ahead tomorrow as this weekend’s visitors are in superior form.

     But Sunderland have only lost one of the last 10 league and cup meetings against Southampton. The last time the team from the South Coast won at the Stadium of Light was back in 2003.

    The Saints are unbeaten away from home this season but only one of their five matches on the road.

    Southampton defenders Cedric and Jose Fonte have been called up to the Portugal squad during the international break.

     Mike Jones will be in charge of this game. He was the man in the middle when the Saints visited Sunderland last season. When he awarded the hosts two penalties and sent off James Ward-Prowse, which resulted in a 2-1 win for the Black Cats.

    Virgil Van Dijk won Southampton’s player of the month after beating fellow team-mates Graziano Pelle, Sadio Mane and Cedric to the award.

    Fraser Forster has been recovering well and he could be back in first team training in the next four or five weeks according to Ronald Koeman.

    The Dutchman also recognised his side’s solid defensive organisation has been a key factor in their unbeaten away run in the Premier League.

    Virgil Van Dijk by Antoon Kuper
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    Item Reviewed: Southampton confident ahead of trip to the Stadium of Light. Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Dominic Rust
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