Saturday 2nd September 2023
(18th) Sunderland v Southampton (4th)
Stadium of Light
Tickets & Match Coverage
Tickets: Tickets are available at www.safc.com.
TV/Stream: Full live match coverage available via Sky Sports.
Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Radio Newcastle (not online)
The events of the last 48 hours or so might add an extra bit of spice to the game, but in summary, it’s a tough test ahead in our lunchtime kick-off against one of the favourites for promotion.
Tony Mowbray will no doubt be pleased with his side’s response to losing the first two league games - a win in our last home game against Rotherham United was a welcome relief and the draw at Coventry City resulted in an impressive clean sheet in our goalless draw.
Today’s game is a slightly different proposition to what we might be used to seeing at the Stadium of Light and it will be interesting to see how Mowbray and his side react to the opposition having large spells of possession.
The timing of the fixture is also an odd one in terms of being 13 and a half hours after the window closed, which means squads up and down the country are trying to find their feet after losses and acquisitions, so there’s a high chance that the side might line-up with something similar to the one we saw last week.
Last time the two sides met on Wearside it ended up a demolition job with the Saints taking a 4-0 win back down to the south coast - and to rub it in a player with the surname of Gabbiadini got a brace, which was all a bit confusing.
Before that we have to look back beyond another defeat in November 2015 to find our previous victory on home soil in May of the same year, when we won 2-1 thanks to two Jordi Gomez penalties.
The Saints have been busy beavers during the summer following relegation, and then just plain got annoying towards the end of the transfer window.
Money has streamed through the door as a result of an exodus of players, including Nathan Tella and James Ward-Prowse who started the season in the side on the opening weekend at Sheffield Wednesday and have exited St. Mary’s in the last few weeks.
Of course, all of this incoming money on top of the parachute payments after their misstep back down to the Championship has seen them splash the cash in an effort to make a swift return - even though we’d have rather they hadn’t.
Russell Martin is the man handed the task of taking them back up as soon as possible, leaving his post at Swansea City to take up the challenge. His ultra-possession based football is already bedding in with his side having 80% of the ball on the opening weekend at Hillsborough.
Despite having taken 10 points from a possible 12 to start, there is a nagging doubt. Their three victories came against sides tipped to struggle in Sheffield Wednesday, Plymouth Argyle and Queens Park Rangers and they make fairly difficult work of all three.
Add in that they required a 97th minute penalty to get a draw at home to Norwich City and signs are that they might not be so convincing as their results so far suggest.
The bookies have the away side as slight favourites this afternoon at 11/8, while the Lads are 9/5 and a draw is priced at 12/5.
Head to head... at Sunderland
- Sunderland wins: 17
- Southampton wins: 8
- Sunderland goals: 51
- Southampton goals: 31
Last time we met... at the Stadium of Light
Saturday 11th February 2017
Sunderland 0-4 Southampton
[Gabbiadini 30’. 45’, Denayer (OG) 88’, Long 90’]
Sunderland: Mannone, Jones, Kone, O’Shea (Pienaar), Denayer, Oviedo, Larsson (Borini), Ndong, Gibson (Khazri), Januzaj, Defoe Substitutes not used: Mika, Manquillo, Lescott, Honeyman
Southampton: Forster, Soares, Bertrand, Romeu, Stephens, Yoshida, Redmond, Davis, Gabbiadini (Long), Ward-Prowse, Tadic (Hojbjerg) Substitutes not used: Hassen, McQueen, Gardos, Sims, Rodriguez
Played for both...
Durham-born Barry Venison came through the ranks at Roker Park to make his debut in 1981 and went on to captain the club in the 1985 League Cup final defeat to Norwich City - standing in for usual skipper Shaun Elliott to become the youngest ever captain in a Wembley final.
He signed for Liverpool after Lawrie McMenemy’s first season of struggle in Division Two and spent six years at Anfield before Kevin Keegan took him to Newcastle United. Three years on Tyneside were followed by a stint in Turkey with Galatasaray, before returning to England in 1995, when he followed manager Graeme Souness from Turkey to Southampton.