Southampton are a club where a huge amount of player turnover is going on, and with the transfer window due to close on Friday evening, this is only going to continue and increase. Players who have played an important role in their start this season are either subject to bids or have been sold, such as Che Adams and Nathan Tella.
They are bringing in new players such as Ryan Fraser, Mason Holgate, Flynn Downes and Ross Stewart. Holgate is expected to start as Jack Stephens was injured in their last game. This makes their side weaker on the face of it as Holgate struggled in an Everton side who leaked goals.
Southampton manager Russell Martin will likely be preoccupied with transfer dealings in the lead up to this game, more so than Sunderland, who by contract look to be a more settled squad and set-up.
Another factor is that Southampton have been over performing in their results this season, scoring 4 more goals than they would be expected to and this includes the two penalties in the Norwich game.
Sunderland, by contrast, have been marginally underperforming their expected goals scored and goals conceded.
Additional considerations are that Sunderland are at home which should help them in preparation to the game given the attention of the transfer window on Friday night, the long trip from Southampton to Sunderland, and it is also an early kick-off.
Sunderland don’t tend to score many goals at home, averaging 1.6 goals per game last season at home. Southampton have conceded seven goals in four games so far this season, and they would be fortunate not to concede more in their win against QPR last week.
Southampton dominate possession in their games this season, averaging 71%. Sunderland have averaged 59%. The risk factor I see here for Southampton is that if they have less of the ball in this game compared to their first four games, they are at higher risk for a red card.
They have averaged 4.75 yellow cards per game, with the majority of them coming from defensive players.
Weighing all of this up and looking at how this has been priced on the markets, I see value in a Sunderland home win by two goals.
Sunderland 2-0 HT, 20.0 (€10)
Sunderland Score 4 and Win 21.0 (€15)
Jobe Bellingham Score two or more 27.0 (€6)