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Southampton v Sunderland: Saints to continue winning start

| 23.08.2013

Southampton and Sunderland have both been active this summer, but while Paolo Di Canio has brought in plenty of players, the extra quality in the few signed by Mauricio Pochettino will be decisive at St Mary’s.

Pablo Osvaldo could make his debut and the Italian striker’s partnership with Rickie Lambert will prove too much for Sunderland to handle, with Southampton worth backing at 8/11 to win.

Sunderland’s away form was dismal at the end of last season, losing six out of seven matches, with the only win coming at Newcastle.

They lost to Reading, West Brom and QPR, as well as being thumped 6-1 by Aston Villa.

Their blunt performance in the 1-0 loss at home to Fulham on the opening weekend of the Premier League suggested that Di Canio had yet to successfully blend his rash of new signings into the team.

In contrast, Victor Wanyama and Dejan Lovren both looked comfortable on their debuts for Southampton in the win at West Brom, and the addition of Osvaldo will significantly increase their goal threat.

The former Roma player finished as the joint third highest scorer in Serie A last season with 16 goals, behind only Edinson Cavani and Antonio Di Natale.

Osvaldo is 5/4 to score at any time against Sunderland, although Lambert could be the value option at 6/4 with Southampton’s record signing likely to start on the bench.

The England international will be aiming to send a message to Osvaldo that he is not going to be brushed aside as top dog at Southampton after his 15-goal haul in the Premier league last season.

Last season Sunderland won 1-0 in this fixture, but both teams have made huge changes on and off the pitch since then, and Southampton will be too good for the Black Cats.

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

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Alex Fortune