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Back early goals and surprise sources in Sunderland and Saints Cup clash

Capital One Cup finalists Sunderland face Southampton for the fourth time and in the third different competition this season to kick off fifth round weekend of the FA Cup.

If their two Premier League meetings are anything to go by, then the net should bulge inside the first 10 minutes. Coral are offering fantastic odds of 13/4 on this happening again here.

Mauricio Pochettino’s Saints start as 13/10 favourites to advance despite their poor record against this opposition in the last 10 years. Sunderland, who have saved their best form for cup competitions this term, are 2/1 to win here. It’s 12/5 to go to a replay.

Recent history in this fixture also suggests that defenders get on the scoresheet. Black Cats full back Phil Bardsley has two in his last three appearances against the Saints. Back the Scotland international at 7/1 to net anytime.

Rejuvenated Sunderland winger Adam Johnson has six goals in his last five appearances. At 9/4 in the anytime scoring market, he is another name for punters to consider.

Southampton’s current centre back pairing of Jose Fonte and Maya Yoshida have also got goals in this fixture already this season. Defenders have been on target in each of the last three meetings for the south coast side.

Portuguese and former Crystal Palace player Fonte is a 10/1 chance to score again here. Japan’s Yoshida, meanwhile, is 12/1. If punters prefer to place their faith in regular Saints goal-scorers, Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez are 13/8 and 6/4 respectively to convert at anytime.

Both Sunderland and Southampton have kept three clean sheets in their last five outings, but the best value in this market is on the Black Cats. Poyet’s team are 14/5 to shut the Saints (15/8 themselves) out.

Since losing to Chelsea on New Year’s Day. Southampton have gone eight matches unbeaten with five wins and three draws. Pochettino must hope this run continues if he wants to take his Saints a step closer to Wembley.