SUNDERLAND will have home advantage for a third successive round in the Capital One Cup next month, with Premier League rivals Southampton the visitors.
The Wearsiders, who have knocked out League One clubs MK Dons (4-2) and Peterborough (2-0) to reach the last 16, will gun for a quarter-final place against the Saints at the Stadium of Light.
Both Sunderland and Newcastle – who host Manchester City after beating Leeds last night – are at home in the next round, giving a potential problem given that the clubs are not allowed to play at home on the same night.
The fourth round ties are scheduled for Tuesday, October 29 and Wednesday, October 30 – so either Sunderland or Newcastle will almost certainly have to play their tie on the Tuesday, just 48 hours after the Wear-Tyne Premier League derby.
There is a precedent for that – with Spurs playing at Aston Villa on Tuesday, two days after a Sunday Premier League match at Cardiff, because West Midlands Police would not allow Villa to be at home the same night as Birmingham and West Brom.
Sunderland and Southampton drew 1-1 at St Mary’s back on August 24, with Southampton grabbing a late equaliser to cancel out Emanuele Giaccherini’s early, headed opener.
The clubs have never met in the League Cup, though they have been drawn together seven times in the FA Cup, with Sunderland progressing five times.
Southampton are hopeful of following in Swansea’s footsteps and win the Capital One Cup, according to defender Jos Hooiveld.
In just their second season in the Premier League, the Welsh side lifted the cup at Wembley after romping to a 5-0 win against Bradford last February.
It capped quite a rise for the Swans and it is success Hooiveld is confident Southampton can replicate this season.
They too are in the second season back in the top flight and are eyeing success in the cup competitions.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side overcame Bristol City 2-0 on Tuesday night to reach the last 16 and centre-back Hooiveld is eager for an extended run in the competition.
“We know have a great team and whatever they throw at us we have to deal with, because we want to get there in the end,” said the former Celtic defender.
“What Swansea did last year, we want to do this year.”
To do that, Saints will need a vastly improved performance to that shown against Sean O’Driscoll’s League One side at a sparsely-filled St Mary’s.
Gaston Ramirez’s exquisite volley was all they had to show from a first half they dominated, allowing City a way back into the game.
Saints’ defence held firm and eventually Hooiveld nodded home to secure safe progression with seven minutes remaining.
“It was nice,” he said. “It was just one of those games we had to win and get through to the next round.
“That’s what cup football is. It’s not always pretty. It was a hard-fought battle.
“It was very entertaining. They played at one moment all or nothing.
“They did very well. It was about half an hour that we were in a lot of trouble.
“Luckily we didn’t concede, we had great saves from Kelvin Davis and we got through it. That’s what’s important.”
In the other ties, Arsenal entertain Chelsea and Manchester United have been drawn at home to Norwich.