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    Sunderland v Southampton Match Preview

    Sunderland will be looking to bounce back from their 6-2 mauling at Everton as two sides in contrasting form meet at the Stadium of Light. Sam Allardyce will be looking to carry on his good home start after defeating rivals Newcastle 3-0 last time out. Ronald Koeman will be wary of coming back to the Stadium of Light, where his side were beaten 2-1 last season as Sunderland narrowly avoided relegation.

    Big Sam will be looking to reshuffle the defence that was torn apart so easily by Everton last week. The 3-5-2 formation may be scrapped in favour of the more trusted four at the back, the return of John O'Shea from injury will also encourage Sam to shore up the defence, especially against such an in form Southampton side. As well as having O'Shea back, Sunderland will welcome back Ola Toivonen, Younes Kaboul and Fabio Borini, most of whom would expect to start on the bench. The biggest absentee for the home side will be Lee Cattermole who picked up a groin injury against Everton and has not recovered in time.

    Southampton have no injury worries ahead of this game outside of long term absentees Fraser Forster and Florin Gardos, having an almost full squad to choose from. Their only absentee will be Victor Wanyama who will be serving a one match suspension after being sent off last week against Bournemouth. Southampton have been strong in front of goal recently, and Graziano Pelle looks to be discovering his form from last season and will relish coming up against a ragged Sunderland defence. The Saints have also had their own troubles in defence however, their clean sheet last week against goal-shy Bournemouth was their first in six matches.

    Sunderland actually have a strong head to head record against Southampton, and are unbeaten in their last six matches at home against them dating back to 2003. Their only defeat in their last 10 games against the Saints was the 8-0 thumping under Gus Poyet last season. Southampton come to the North East defending a 5 match unbeaten run, and have been unbeaten on the road all season.


    To have any chance of survival big Sam needs to turn the Stadium of Light into a fortress, so I think he will keep hold of his 100% home record with a 2-1 win.

    You can get Sunderland to win at 16/5
    You can get Southampton to win at 5/6
    If you like my prediction you can get it at 12/1 (All bets through Skybet) 

    By Darren Beck (@DarrenBeck13)
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    Item Reviewed: Sunderland v Southampton Match Preview Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Darren Beck
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