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Sunderland vs Southampton - Match preview and team news

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By Stephen Donovan

Friday 14 February 2014

The first FA Cup tie of fifth round weekend takes place at the Stadium of Light, where Sunderland take on Premier League rivals Southampton.

This match takes place just a little under a month since they met on Wearside in the top-flight, a game which ended 2-2, with Adam Johnson scoring the equaliser as the Black Cats came from two goals down.

Sunderland come into it with an excellent record in the cup competitions this season, having already booked their place in the Capital One Cup final - beating Southampton on the way - and beaten the lesser lights of Carlisle United and Kidderminster Harriers to advance to this stage of its more prestigious counterpart. Their league form is also much improved, although they have returned to the bottom three since losing to Hull City.

The visitors edged past battling Burnley in the third round before booking their trip to the North East with a comfortable victory over Yeovil Town, and will fancy their chances here after performing well in their last three away matches, of which they won two. And as they lie in a comfortable position in the Premier League, manager Mauricio Pochettino may see the FA Cup as a decent chance of winning some silverware.

Wes Brown begins a three match ban for Sunderland after his sending off against Hull. Kieren Westwood, Steven Fletcher and Carlos Cuellar are also sidelined.

Southampton will be without injured duo Dejan Lovren and Gaston Ramirez, but otherwise they have a fully-fit squad.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Sunderland v Southampton

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