Sunderland travel to the Britannia stadium this weekend looking for a win against out of form Stoke which will keep them above the drop zone.
The Black Cats currently sit in 17th place down to their superior goal difference over Norwich City and are one point above local rivals Newcastle.
The form guide
Sunderland go into the game on the back of a draw at home to Arsenal and have picked up four crucial points in their last two outings. The pairing of Younes Kaboul and Lamine Kone in the middle of defence has been key in their revival. The pair have conceded just two goals in 523 minutes of football both coming from Jamie Vardy.
Stoke go into the game having not won in four and have conceded 12 goals in just three games. City are at the point in the season when fans wish for it to be over, but manager Mark Hughes has stressed it isn’t over until it’s over and has demanded for his players to keep going.
Injuries and Team news
Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce once again declared this week that he has a full squad of players to choose from. Sunderland have no fresh injuries to their side.
Stoke City have been hit with lots of injuries over the past few games. Ibrahim Affelay has a serious knee injury, Shay Given came off with an injury last time out but may return. Xherdan Shaqiri and Jon Walters are also expected to return. Glen Johnson and Marc Wilson also miss out with injury.
I’ve heard people all week speak about winning this game as though it is a given. I really do feel this is going to be a tough game. Mark Hughes has came out this week and said how important it is for his side to cut out bad results and the importance for his players to put on a show for the fans, even though their season has faded out as it draws closer to the final day. It’s important for Sunderland to play how they have in recent weeks and I think Allardyce will look to set up in a similar way to the last away trip when we won 3-0 at Norwich.
Newcastle have Crystal Palace at home and you would make them favorites to win. However, I think this will be a hard fixture for the magpies with Palace needing just one point for mathematical safety.
Norwich have a big task on their hands away to Arsenal and you would expect them to be beaten comfortably.
None of these results are a given and it’s going to be important for the lads to show the same spirit they have in recent games. Let’s get behind the team once again… Ha’way the lads!