Southampton Vs Sunderland Preview | Stats, Odds & Key Men

Southampton Vs Sunderland Preview | Stats, Odds & Key Men

Southampton vs Sunderland will be one of five 15:00 kickoffs this Saturday and will see two sides meeting who experienced exact opposite results on the opening day. While Southampton enjoyed a dramatic late win from the penalty spot against West Brom away from home, Sunderland’s game with Fulham ended in a disappointing 1-0 home defeat.

Southampton Vs Sunderland Preview

Is it interesting to take a look at what happened to both teams on the opening day? Yes. Is it a big indicator of how this one will turn out? No, not really. Although fans may regularly tip certain teams for glory and others for failure at early stages in the year, truthfully little is known about what both teams shall offer as the season progresses.

No doubt both Southampton and Sunderland will have both forgotten about what happened seven days earlier and will be focusing entirely on getting a positive result from this fixture. Both will view this match as one they should be taking points from and so will surely approach it with the maximum care with every detail accounted for.

Opening day performance is far more important than the score line and Southampton spent the first 35 minutes of their match in relative control. They should have taken an early lead really and would have were it not for Lallana’s goal being disallowed for offside. They then allowed West Brom back into the game but were able to show great resilience which will bode well for them ahead of the weekend. A powerful, wavy run in typical fashion from Luke Shaw saw the left-back taken down in the area allowing Lambert to kill the game, and if they can produce a similar performance then Southampton will feel comfortable going into their second game of the season.

Sunderland may have endured defeat against Fulham, but it was not a crushing one and in fact could have easily gone the other way. Paolo Di Canio spoke after the game of Sunderland’s dominance (57% possession) and how important it is in the Premier League to take advantage of this. He picked this as the reason for defeat expressing how meaningless their domination is if they are just going to concede to a simple set piece header.  “My players have to learn, especially the players that came from abroad because this a tough league, a strange league…obviously this is only the first game (and) it’s hard to go out with a defeat but there are many positive things because I saw my team play football for 80 minutes in the opponents half.”

Interesting Stats

Southampton have now broken their transfer record for the second time in the window after signing Pablo Daniel Osvaldo for £15. Only two players (Cavani 29 and Di Natale 24) scored more Serie A goals than the 27 year-old striker, who netted 16.

Following defeat to Fulham on the opening day, Sunderland have won just two of their last 16 Premier League matches. Perhaps it was their lack of an aerial threat that contributed to this since the Black Cats only scored 2 headed goals last season, less than any other team.

Key Players

For Southampton I’m selecting the man I just spoke of, Pablo Osvaldo. Southampton already have a star striker, one who just earned his first England cap and who has scored two in two for club and country. That said Osvaldo is expected to bring a new level to Southampton’s strike force, and it is always important that a record transfer signing hits the ground running, not only for himself and results, but for the moral of the football club in general.  As has already been said, he scored 16 goals for last season and he impressively did so in just 25 starts. Indeed any striker is to be extremely attack minded, but Osvaldo especially so as he recorded an average of 3.1 shots per match. Being a brand new signing since the opening day of the Premier League there is no guarantee that he will start, but even if he makes his debut from the bench he still has the ability to be a match winner for Southampton.

With so many new signings, Giaccherini and Altidore most notably, there are many potential key players to pick from. However it is oldSesseong stats boy Stephane Sessegnon who could well prove to be the difference for this one. Sunderland already know a great deal about the Béninois international, and over the last two seasons he has arguably been the most important player for the club. No doubt, a fit and firing Sessegnon is a formidable force. Playing in between midfield and striker, he is a key driving force for the team and frequently starts and ends Sunderland attacks. His only problem is consistency and his ability to provide this service in every match. Two seasons running he has scored 7 goals, and if he can stay in form for the whole season this time he could easily become Sunderland’s most key player, as I expect he will prove to be against Southampton.

Team News

Without any fresh injuries to worry about Southampton go into the match against Sunderland with the same squad of players with the addition of Osvaldo to their ranks, who will be likely to make his first start for the club.

Stephen Fletcher is out until September with an ankle injury, while Wes Brown may well have to face a late fitness test. Phil Bardsley (ankle) and Lee Cattermole’s (knee) return dates are still unknown.

Prediction

Perhaps it is the fact that Sunderland have won only 2 in 16, but they are surprisingly heavy underdogs for this one with Southampton 1.676 favourites. I personally believe this match to be extremely competitive.

Going for the draw: 2-2

Pinnacle Odds

Quite simply betting on the Sunderland draw at 4.01 or a Sunderland win at 5.57 will see large returns. Stick an even amount on both simultaneously and avoid the Southampton win and your guaranteed profit.