Sunderland’s troubles have gone from bad to worse after their 1-0 loss at the hands of West Ham United on Saturday. Nine game weeks have taken place this season and all Sunderland have managed are just two points. The Black Cats are the only Premier League club yet to record a victory this season. All the remaining clubs are slowly gaining their momentum and the table has already started taking shape and things look far from impressive for the Wearside club.
Sunderland will travel to St. Mary’s Stadium on Wednesday to take on in-form Southampton in the League Cup, a welcome distraction. The Saints have lost just one of their last nine games in all competitions that was a 1-0 loss to Inter Milan in the Europa League last week.
Claude Puel’s side upset mighty Manchester City on Sunday stretching Pep Guardiola’s side’s winless run to five games in all competitions. Southampton are a strong side and Sunderland are major underdogs on paper but Moyes will be tempted to play almost his full-strength squad against the Saints as one win can totally change the morale of the side.
Here is the predicted lineup for Sunderland against Southampton.
Jordan Pickford will keep his place under the bar. The 22-year-old has done well this season and was rewarded with his first call-up for the senior English side. However, he needs better support from his back four. Billy Jones is likely to get a start at right-back replacing Javier Manquillo.
John O’Shea has been pretty disappointing this season and could be benched against the Saints. Papy Djilobodji will get a place in the starting XI alongside Lamine Kone. Patrick van Aanholt will retain his place at left-back.
We expect Paddy McNair to get his chance in the starting XI at the base of midfield. Jack Rodwell is expected to partner the Northern Irishman in a two-man midfield. Sunderland need to provide solid cover for their back four in order to stop Southampton and Rodwell and McNair have to ensure this. Wahbi Khazri and experienced Steven Pienaar will start on the two flanks for the Black Cats.
Jermain Defoe is likely to get rested against Southampton. The veteran striker has played a lot this season and Sunderland cannot afford to see him going down with injuries. Victor Anichebe is likely to replace Defoe up front. The Nigerian will be supported by 22-year-old Duncan Watmore up front.