Southampton have lost only one of their last six Premier League games against Sunderland going into Saturday’s encounter at St Mary’s.
Southampton will be without Charlie Austin and Shane Long after the strikers both suffered injuries during Tuesday’s defeat to Bournemouth.
Austin (hamstring) has been ruled out for up to four weeks, but Long (knee) is expected to be available to face Stoke City next weekend. Jay Rodriguez (ankle) and Florin Gardos (knee) are also sidelined.
Sunderland skipper John O’Shea is expected to be fit after limping off during the first half of Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace complaining of a tight calf muscle, with scans showing the damage is not as bad as was first feared.
However, Lee Cattermole, who was left with concussion and stitches after a clash of heads with Palace’s Jordon Mutch, will not feature, and nor will fellow midfielder Jeremain Lens as he continues his recovery from hernia surgery. Duncan Watmore will be sidelined for some time by an ankle ligament problem.
- Southampton have lost just one of the last six Premier League games against Sunderland (W2 D3 L1).
- Sunderland suffered their worst ever Premier League defeat in this fixture away at Southampton last season (0-8).
- Southampton have fired in a league-high 501 open play crosses this season.
- Southampton have scored the most headed goals in the Premier League this season (11).
- Sunderland have scored the joint-fewest headed goals in the top flight (2).
- Sunderland have faced more opposition shots on target than any other team in the Premier League this season (166).
- The Black Cats have kept the joint-fewest clean sheets in the Premier League this season (3, along with Norwich City).
- They have gone 14 games without a clean sheet, the longest run of any team in the Premier League this season.
- Saints have won none of their last 11 Premier League matches where the opposition have scored (D3 L8).
- Saints have lost three games that they have been leading in this season; more often than any other Premier League team.