When news happens, text BAZ and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Saints bid to continue perfect start
It is 25 years since Saints last won their opening two games of a top-flight season, but victory against Sunderland today will see them end that run.
You have to go back to the start of the 1988/89 campaign for the last time the club managed such a feat at the highest level of English football.
Then, they followed up a 4-0 home win against West Ham on the opening day with a 1-0 success away to QPR.
The only time since then that Saints have won their first two league matches of the season was two years ago, in the Championship.
Last Saturday’s 1-0 victory at West Brom gave Mauricio Pochettino’s men a perfect start to the new campaign, and they will be confident of taking another three points this afternoon when they host a Sunderland team that only just survived last term – and suffered a home defeat to Fulham a week ago.
Centre half José Fonte expects the good form to continue today.
He said: “I feel like as a team we are much more confident after the season before. We have a little bit more experience now, so we’re confident we can keep the winning performance.”
The first home match of the season always carries a sense of intrigue and expectancy, but that will likely be heightened around St Mary’s today, with supporters hoping to catch a first glimpse of record signing Dani Osvaldo.
Fonte said: “I know him from Espanyol, because my brother [Rui Fonte] used to play for Espanyol, so I’ve seen a few games of him. “I know he’s a top class striker. He’s very quick, strong, skilful, and he finishes well, so I’m just very pleased that he joined us and I hope he scores many, many goals.”
Saints suffered a 1-0 defeat to Sunderland when the Black Cats, then under the management of Martin O’Neill, visited St Mary’s last season.
In the return fixture, at the Stadium of Light, the sides drew 1-1, with Paolo Di Canio by that time in charge of the north east outfit.
Despite their opening day defeat, Fonte is expecting the Italian to have his team well prepared for today’s contest.
“He was a great player. He’s done a good job at Swindon, and he’s trying to do his work at Sunderland now,” he said.
“He managed to stay in the Premier League last year. He made a little bit of a revolution this year with bringing loads of new players. Sometimes it can take a little bit of time to gel, but I think he’ll do a good job. He knows what is necessary to be successful.
“I expect a tough game against them.”
Comments are closed on this article.