Southampton vs Sunderland
|Date & Time||Saturday March 5, 2016, 10:00 AM (EST)|
The Line: Southampton 3/5 Draw 5/2 Sunderland 6/1
Westwood Sport; Premier League Sports; NBC extra
A game I have been looking at for a week now, Southampton will host Sunderland at Saint Mary's and Ronald Koeman and the fans will be looking for a reaction from the Southampton players to one of their worst performances of the season away at Bournemouth ( a local rival). Southampton were flat, they came out flat and it just never improved. I mentioned in my midweek write up that Shane Long's injury could be a problem for Southampton but Long actually played, the problem for Southampton is the missing Wanyama, he is key to everything that Southampton does. He shores up the middle , protects the back four and allows the other midfielders to get further forward to support the strikers. Wanyama, Long and Austin will miss the game on Saturday. Pelle will come back in and Mane and Tadic should be either side of the big Italian but the missing Wanyama will be tough to replace.
Sunderland need wins, they are on the brink of falling back into the relegation places and a win here would go a long way to solidifying their place just outside the drop zone. Sam Allardyce knows that his team will have to pick up some points on the road as well as win their home games to survive. I think after Wednesday night's comeback with a last minute Fabio Borini goal saving Sunderland from defeat there will be some good feelings about how things are going for the Black Cats. Jermain Defoe and Borini must find the goals to save Sunderland, Defoe is a tough on to mark though and with Frazer Forster making some goalkeeping errors of late you can be sure Defoe will be awake in the box in case anything falls his way.
Southampton were terrible midweek, for this alone I am going to side with Sunderland who at least showed some fighting bottle which could keep them in this game and maybe even see them nick it on the counter attack.