Kick Off: Saturday 5th March 2016, 3pm
Venue: St Mary's Stadium, Southampton, England
Last Season: Southampton 8-0 SAFC: Vergini (12 og), Pellè (18, 69), Cork (37), Bridcutt (63 og), Tadic (78), Wanyama (79), van Aanholt (86 og)
Odds: Home: 3/5 Away: 6/1 Draw: 16/5
Sunderland's games are not getting any easier. Now that Bournemouth and Swansea seem to have created a boundary between themselves and the bottom four, survival is looking increasingly difficult and it would be safe to assume that two of ourselves, Newcastle and Norwich will be joining Aston Villa in the Championship next season.
Sunderland keep putting on great performances, but is it enough? We were ahead against Crystal Palace and threw away yet another lead. We cannot stop conceding goals, and the nature that we allow teams to score is quite frankly pathetic. Connor Wickham's second on Tuesday is the latest in a long line of goals we've conceded as a result of poor defensive play. Facing facts, our defensive issues just aren't going to go away.
As a result, we need to score at least twice if we are to take anything from a game these days. Southampton, on their own patch, are a formidable side on their day and if we are to take anything from this match we need to be at our absolute best. It's a decent time to play the Saints when you weigh everything up - Victor Wanyama is suspended again, and their two best forwards are injured and won't play.
We are our own worst enemy, as shown against Palace. The whole fiasco surrounding Adam Johnson has completely taken the focus off our relegation battle, and it's been an utterly disgusting week for the football club. We need a win now more than ever to lift the spirits of a discontented fan base.
Referee: Neil Swarbrick (replaced Kevin Friend)
Assistants: P Kirkup & H Lennard
Fourth Official: N Swarbrick
Following his impressive contributions towards the end of the Palace game, Fabio Borini is expected to start ahead of Dame N'Doye who, despite scoring, was largely poor on Tuesday night.
Jan Kirchhoff is expected to start despite being withdrawn early from that match due to fatigue, while Lee Cattermole is out as he recovers from a concussion. John O'Shea is touch and go, and should he miss out he'll be replaced by Younes Kaboul.
Jeremain Lens and Duncan Watmore remain absent.
As noted above, Victor Wanyama is seeing out a five match ban following his third red card of the season, so won't play. Shane Long and Charlie Austin both picked up injuries midweek against Bournemouth and won't be available, so Ronald Koeman is expected to name Graziano Pelle and Dusan Tadic in their place.
Sunderland - DLDWLD
1 Mar 2016 - Sunderland 2-2 Cystal Palace
27 Feb 2016 - West Ham United 1-0 Sunderland
13 Feb 2016 - Sunderland 2-1 Manchester United
06 Feb 2016 - Liverpool 2-2 Sunderland
02 Feb 2016 - Sunderland 0-1 Manchester City
23 Jan 2016 - Sunderland 1-1 AFC Bournemouth
Southampton - WDWWLL
01 Mar 2016 - AFC Bournemouth 2-0 Southampton
27 Feb 2016 - Southampton 1-2 Chelsea
13 Feb 2016 - Swansea City 0-1 Southampton
06 Feb 2016 - Southampton 1-0 West Ham United
02 Feb 2016 - Arsenal 0-0 Southampton
23 Jan 2016 - Manchester United 0-1 Southampton
Rory Fallow spoke to Freddie from 'The Ugly Inside' this week to go over tomorrow's game:
I can't see eight goals again in this one again, the reverse fixture proved it can be tricky against you with us only sneaking a 1-0 win. But I think the players will be fired up for this one in a fixture on-paper is a winnable game.
I will call a 2-0 home victory to the Saints.
Sam Allardyce on the relegation battle:
When you look at the table now, there’s no point in hiding it – there are four of us cut adrift. Villa are struggling, but the other three of us have got 24 points and the nearest after that is 30-point Swansea.
We have to get at least two wins on the trot to catch Swansea now, with 10 games to go. And that’s in the hope that Swansea lose two games on the trot.
The way Swansea are performing at the moment, they probably wouldn’t do that.
Last Season's Corresponding Fixture
Head To Head
07 Nov 2015 - Sunderland 0-1 Southampton
02 May 2015 - Sunderland 2-1 Southampton
18 Oct 2014 - Southampton 8-0 Sunderland
18 Jan 2014 - Sunderland 2-2 Southampton
24 Aug 2013 - Southampton 1-1 Sunderland
12 May 2013 - Sunderland 1-1 Southampton
22 Dec 2012 - Southampton 0-1 Sunderland
We really, really need a win. The players are trying their best, but do they have it in them to go somewhere and just make sure we take three points? I'm not so sure.
By hook or by crook we need to leave the south coast tomorrow evening with three points. If we have to pick up yellow cards, throw our heads in the way and score one in off someone's arse then lets do it. Playing pretty football at this stage is pointless.
The way things are going this season in the Premier League I wouldn't count against anything. I fancy us to nick a win - and a clean sheet. There, I said it.