Sunderland – Southampton: Black Cats to prey on Saints misfortune

Sunderland boss Gus Poyet

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Sunderland boss Gus Poyet is hoping his men can take advantage of the problems at Southampton when they welcome the Saints the north east on Saturday lunchtime.

The two sides will do battle at the Stadium of Light with the Black Caps in 19th place in the Premier League table and the South Coast outfit ten places and 13 points better off.

That gap was considerably wider a few weeks ago, but Sunderland have improved under the Uruguayan tactician, while Southampton have won just two of their last ten top-flight games.

But they have won two from the last four and looked to be getting back on track until the resignation of chairman Nicola Cortese earlier this week rocked the boat.

There were rumours that manager Mauricio Pochettini would follow suit, but he has vowed to stay until the end of the season and review his position in June.

It has been a turbulent week at St Mary’s and Poyet is convinced that the uncertainty at the club will be preying on the players’ minds this weekend.

“Without any doubt, however, it will affect the players. It always does,” he said. “If you wake up and your club is in a mess or not normal and you care about your club, then it will affect you.”

Despite the situation, Southampton are 2.30 favourites to claim all three points, with Sunderland on offer at 3.04, but there is clearly some belief back in the Wearsiders’ camp and it would be no surprise to see them claim their fifth league win of the campaign.

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