Sam Allardyce can use Southampton as Sunderland’s springboard

For a short time last Sunday afternoon, well, for five minutes to be more precise, things looked to be going rather well for Sunderland having come from 2-0 down against Everton to level the match early in the second half.

Four goals from the Toffees however promptly quashed any joy for the travelling Black Cats fans, who were left to ponder where the club goes next after the 6-2 hammering at Goodison Park.

Southampton head to the Stadium of Light this Saturday, and though the south-coast side are unbeaten on the road this season, four of their five games have ended all square.

Getting points at home has to be one of Big Sam’s priorities, and in recent years that’s something Sunderland have done on a regular basis in this fixture.

Southampton haven’t won on Wearside since a James Beattie goal split the sides in 2003, subsequently making six trips to the north-east without a victory in any competition.

Sunderland won the most recent meeting back in May, and though the hosts seem a long-shot at 15/4, they’ve only lost one of their last four home league games.

The Saints are 8/11 for the three points, while a draw – as has happened in three of Southampton’s last four league trips to Sunderland – is an appealing 13/5.

The Black Cats have home ties against Stoke and Watford in the coming weeks before a nasty spell sees them play Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City in succession, and Allardyce will be acutely aware of how important the next few games will be, especially at home.

It’s rare to see an Allardyce-led team torn apart as it was on Sunday, and you can be sure the former Bolton boss will be spending this week making sure it doesn’t happen again.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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