Get set for Southampton's EFL Cup fourth-round tie against Sunderland with our in-depth match preview.
What’s at stake?
With huge fixtures in the Europa League and Premier League over the last week, the EFL Cup might not exactly have been at the forefront of people's minds in Southampton.
Yet this is a big game for the club, with a place in the quarter-finals of the competition at stake, and, if Saints progress, it will be the third year in a row they have reached the last eight.
Sunderland will probably feel more in need of a win, though. Their only victories in any competition this season have come in the EFL Cup, at home to Shrewsbury and away to QPR, and they are now winless in their last four since the trip to Loftus Road.
Saints are still without Ryan Bertrand, Cédric, Matt Targett and long-term absentee Jérémy Pied for the game. Jake Hesketh, who scored in the 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace in the previous round, is also out injured.
Sunderland are hopeful that Patrick van Aanholt and Jack Rodwell will be available, following slight knocks. Striker Joel Asoro, 17, could well feature, while Victor Anichebe is also in line to play. David Moyes has confirmed that Jermain Defoe will still travel, though, as will fellow senior players Steven Pienaar and John O’Shea. Vito Mannone and Seb Larsson remain out.
Southampton’s last five:
Manchester City (a) D 1-1
Internazionale (a) L 0-1 (Europa League)
Burnley (h) W 3-1
Leicester (a) D 0-0
Hapoel Be’er Sheva (a) D 0-0 (Europa League)
Sunderland’s last five:
West Ham (a) L 0-1
Stoke (a) L 0-2
West Brom (h) D 1-1
Crystal Palace (h) L 2-3
QPR (a) W 2-1 (EFL Cup)
Nathan Redmond is a man in form for Saints, with two goals in his last two games, taking his total for the season to three. Charlie Austin remains well out in front as top scorer, with seven to his name.
Top scorer: Charlie Austin (7)
Most assists: Six players (1)
For Sunderland, there is no doubting the main source of goals, and that is from Jermain Defoe, who netted in the 1-1 Premier League draw at St Mary’s earlier this season. Patrick van Aanholt, who has two, has also been a bright spot in a difficult campaign for the Black Cats.
Top scorer: Jermain Defoe (4)
Most assists: Three players (1)
Last four meetings:
August 2016: Southampton 1-1 Sunderland (Rodriguez)
March 2016: Southampton 1-1 Sunderland (van Dijk)
November 2015: Sunderland 0-1 Southampton (Tadić pen)
May 2015: Sunderland 2-1 Southampton (Mané)
Did you know?
The last time Saints reached the quarter-finals of the League Cup in three consecutive seasons was from 1988/89 to 1990/91.
Charlie Austin has scored in five of his last six appearances in the League Cup.
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