Our match prediction:
Both Southampton and Sunderland are eyeing their first win of the season. Following a 1-1 draw with Watford, the Saints suffered a 2-0 loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford at the weekend and they are eager to return to winning ways in the national championship. The club owners sold a number of first-team regulars in the summer transfer window, but Southampton are certainly capable of beating Sunderland, who were more than fortunate not to drop to Championship at the end of the last season. The Black Cats head into the game following back-to-back losses to the likes of Manchester City and Middlesbrough and they are unlikely to upset the Saints at St. Mary’s Stadium. In their last meeting in Southampton the two teams played out a 1-1 draw, but we predict that the Saints are going to emerge triumphant this time out. A man to watch in the home team will be Shane Long.
Highligted Player (Long):
Shane Long is an Irish international striker who has so far made over 60 appearances for the Republic of Ireland national team, scoring more than 15 goals in the process. The forward began his professional career at Cork City, but only made one league appearance for the club ahead of the switch to Reading, where he would go on to spend next seven years. During that time, Long established himself as one of the best Irish strikers plying their trade in England, and also went on to represent West Bromwich Albion, Hull City and Southampton. Despite not exactly boasting an enviable goalscoring record for a centre forward, Long was always held in high regard by both managers and his peers, with his incredible work rate and never-say-die attitude winning him plenty of admirers. Long will also go down as one of the most prolific scorers in the history of the Republic of Ireland national team, which he represented at the Euro 2012 and Euro 2016 finals.
Highlighted Team (Sunderland):
Sunderland are a professional football club that have been playing their home games at the Stadium of Light since 1997. The capacity of the stadium is 49,000, but before expansion the original ground capacity was 42,000. Red and White shirts are Sunderland’s trademark and the club’s fiercest rivals are Newcastle United. The two local rivals have been contesting in the Tyne-Wear derby since 1898 and there have always been fireworks in what is one of the greatest derbies in English football. Sunderland were on the verge of dropping to the Championship in the 2015/2016 Premier League campaign, but experienced tactician Sam Allardyce eventually helped the team avoid relegation. The Black Cats have won six First Division trophies (now the Premier League), with the team lifting two FA Cup titles. Sudnerland won their first FA Cup trophy in 1937, with the team beating Prestson North End 3-1 in the title game. The club was founded in 1879 as Sunderland and District Teachers A.F.C.