The Saints have pulled themselves out of the relegation zone with some creditable performances in recent weeks, and now play host to a visiting side sitting one place above them.
Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte, Shaw
Puncheon, Ramirez, Rodriguez
Gardner, Cuellar, O'Shea, Rose
Johnson, Larsson, Colback, McLean
Kelvin Davis will keep his place in the Southampton goal ahead of the injured Paulo Gazzaniga (shoulder), after keeping only his side's second clean sheet of the season against Reading last time out.
Adam Lallana's knee injury should see Gaston Ramirez continue in the supporting role behind Rickie Lambert, although he may alternate with Jay Rodriguez on the left wing.
Sunderland's Steven Fletcher (ankle) has recovered more quickly than anticipated from the injury that forced him off against Manchester United last weekend, and he should start.
Danny Rose (ankle) should be fit to start at left back, allowing Jack Colback to move back into central midfield and Craig Gardner to revert to right back in the absence of Phil Bardsley (knee).
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Southampton is unbeaten in four games at St Mary's, while Sunderland has only won once on the road in their last 16 matches.
- The last Premier League meeting between these two sides came in January 2003, when James Beattie scored the winner in a 1-0 Saints victory.
- Reading (17) is the only side to have lost more points from winning positions this season than Southampton (15).
- Only bottom-of-the-league Reading (six) has won fewer than the eight points won by Sunderland over the last 10 Premier League fixtures.
- With seven yellow cards to his name already, the Mackems' Craig Gardner (pictured, right) is the most-booked player in the league.
- No side has won fewer points from losing positions than Sunderland this season in the top flight (one).
- The Saints have been fouled less than any other Premier League team this season, while their visitors have been fouled the most.