sport

Soton v Sunderland preview

Adam Lallana is Southampton's only absentee ahead of their crucial encounter with fellow strugglers Sunderland.

The Saints captain suffered a knee injury in the defeat of Reading and, while coy on the severity of the complaint, boss Nigel Adkins has confirmed he will not be available at St Mary's.

The south coast club can, though, welcome back goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga from a shoulder injury, while Frazer Richardson and Richard Chaplow are also back in contention.

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill will await the results of late fitness tests on a trio of key players before naming his team.

Full-backs Phil Bardsley (knee), Danny Rose (ankle) and striker Steven Fletcher (back) have returned to light training, but are yet to prove they are ready to play.

Skipper Lee Cattermole remains on the long-term casualty list with a knee ligament injury, and David Meyler is set to be recalled from his loan spell at Championship side Hull City after Friday's game at Derby to add to the cover.