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Preview: Southampton v Sunderland

by previews Saturday's trip to St. Mary's.

Sunderland will look to bounce back from their opening day defeat to Fulham when they travel to Southampton on Saturday.

The Saints will be buoyed by their opening day away win over West Bromwich Albion as well as their latest summer addition in Italian international Pablo Osvaldo.

The Black Cats will hope to replicate last season’s victory at St. Mary’s when Steven Fletcher’s sole strike secured a 1-0 win in December.

Equally, Di Canio’s side will take heart from their unbeaten run against Southampton which has seen them go unbeaten in the last four games between the two sides – a run that stretches back to November 2006.

Craig Gardner could return to Sunderland’s starting line-up after he served the final game of his three-match ban whilst Wes Brown could also be fit to make a return.

Steven Fletcher will not be able to repeat his heroics from last season’s trip to Hampshire as he is still recovering from an ankle injury sustained in March.

The Saints are injury free with Osvaldo looking likely to make his home debut in the clash.

Di Canio’s men will be boosted by a large travelling support as the red and white army look to descend south in heavy numbers in a repeat of last year’s sell-out away support.

USA striker Jozy Altidore will look to notch his first goal for the Black Cats and continue a run which has seen Sunderland fail to score on only two occasions in the last 12 meetings between the two sides.

Saturday’s meeting will be the 58th between the two sides with Southampton edging the head-to-head with 23 wins in comparison to Sunderland’s 21 whilst there have been 13 draws.