Southampton’s Charlie Austin will be out for three to four weeks with a hamstring injury.
Fellow forward Shane Long misses out with a minor knee injury so Graziano Pelle and Sadio Mane, who are both suffering goal droughts, could start.
Sunderland’s Lee Cattermole will be absent after suffering a head injury against Crystal Palace in midweek.
John O’Shea should overcome a calf problem but Jeremain Lens is still recovering from hernia surgery.
MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES
Tony Husband: “A black cat has taken up residence at Southampton’s training ground and is often seen patrolling the complex.
“No doubt if the club’s feline friend had stumbled upon any inquests into Tuesday’s abject performance at Bournemouth, it would have run for cover as Ronald Koeman vented his anger.
“The black cat has reinforcements coming this weekend with Sunderland heading south.
“Several of Sam Allardyce’s side played in the humiliating defeat at St Mary’s last season, including goalkeeper Vito Mannone.
“Allardyce had targeted four points from a block of three games ending with this fixture, which leaves Sunderland needing a win – but Southampton may well feel like a wounded animal.”
WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman: “We lost two in a row and now we have to go with confidence to win games because we want to get into Europe.
“It is still achievable, fighting for Europe, but we need a good run. After two defeats we need to win and that is the pressure we have this Saturday.”
Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce: “When you look at the table now, there’s no point in hiding it – there are four of us cut adrift.
“We have made life extremely difficult for ourselves by not taking full advantage of some great performances, especially recently against West Ham and Man City.
“I think the players overall are still pretty confident that we can get out of trouble and I am very confident that we can on the basis of performances, even though results should have been better.”
Sunderland will be buoyed by rescuing a point late on against Crystal Palace at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday but they are not the same force away from home.
Lawro’s full predictions
- Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game.
- Southampton have won two of the last three meetings.
- Saints won this fixture 8-0 last season, a record Premier League win for them and a club record Premier League defeat for Sunderland.
- Southampton have lost their last two league matches – they haven’t lost three in a row so far this season.
- The Saints have won four of their last five home league matches, the exception being defeat by Chelsea last weekend.
- After six clean sheets in a row, Southampton have conceded four goals in their last two games.
- Southampton have scored 11 headed goals in this season’s Premier League, the highest number in the division.
- Sunderland have won just one of their last seven away matches in the Premier League (D1, L5).
- Since losing five games in a row in December, the Black Cats have lost just three of their subsequent nine league fixtures.
- They have 24 points after 28 games, their lowest tally at this stage of a season since 2005-06, when they had 10 points and were eventually relegated.
- The Black Cats have gone 14 league games without a clean sheet. They have kept just three clean sheets in the Premier League this season, the joint-worst tally with Norwich.
SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by Professor Ian McHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.