Sunderland - West Brom Preview: Black Cats looking to put an end to their goal drought
Steve Bruce's side look their for first goal in 440 minutes of football against a Baggies side who have failed to keep a clean sheet in 29 Premier League games
By Simon Sinclair
Sunderland: Mignolet; Onouha, Mensah, Turner, Bardsley; Henderson, Muntari, Cattermole, Sessegnon; Welbeck, Gyan.
West Bromwich Albion: Carson; Reid, Meite, Olsson, Shorey; Brunt, Scharner, Mulumbu, Thomas; Odemwingie, Cox.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Sunderland have not won in the Premier League in seven games, with their last victory being a 2-1 win over Blackpool on January 22.
- The Black Cats have not scored in 440 minutes of football since Asamoah Gyan scored against Tottenham back in February.
- Sunderland have kept 12 clean sheets this season, which is a joint third with Manchester United.
- Sunderland and West Brom have had trouble conceding early goals, as both teams have shipped in eight each in the first 15 minutes of their matches.
- Steve Bruce’s side have scored only 18 goals at home this season. Only Birmingham (16) have scored fewer.
- West Brom are currently unbeaten in six Premier League games.
- The Baggies' last clean sheet in the Premier League came against Sunderland on August 21, 2010, in a 1-0 victory at the Hawthorns. Since then Roy Hodgson's charges have had the dubious distinction of going 29 league games without keeping a clean sheet.
- Chris Brunt has 11 assists this season. Only Manchester United's Nani (16) has more in the top flight.
- West Brom have received six red cards this season, and are level with Arsenal when concerning sendings off's. No other side has been shows as many reds this term.
- Hodgson’s men have gone 14 games without winning consecutive games.
Peter Odemwingie scored the only goal of the game on his debut, and the Baggies got their first points of the season.
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Top 3 Predictions
Sunderland 1-1 West Bromwich Albion
- 15.79 %
Sunderland 1-0 West Bromwich Albion
- 14.29 %
Sunderland 2-1 West Bromwich Albion
- 12.78 %
|Premier League (EPL)||21 Sep 2013||West Bromwich Albion 3 - Sunderland 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||23 Feb 2013||West Bromwich Albion 2 - Sunderland 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||24 Nov 2012||Sunderland 2 - West Bromwich Albion 4|
|Premier League (EPL)||25 Feb 2012||West Bromwich Albion 4 - Sunderland 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||1 Oct 2011||Sunderland 2 - West Bromwich Albion 2|
|17 Dec 2013||Sunderland 2 - Chelsea FC 1||CCUP|
|14 Dec 2013||West Ham 0 - Sunderland 0||EPL|
|7 Dec 2013||Sunderland 1 - Tottenham 2||EPL|
|4 Dec 2013||Sunderland 3 - Chelsea FC 4||EPL|
|30 Nov 2013||Aston Villa 0 - Sunderland 0||EPL|
|27||Ahmed El Mohamady||Midfielder|
|30||Sebastien Gabriel Tamaş||Defender|
The Ghanaian has been quiet in recent weeks for the Black Cats and has looked out of touch. He has become the go to man since the departure of Darren Bent in January, and the hosts need a strong performance from him on Saturday.
If he can produce the sort of display he made against England last week, he will trouble Baggies defence - who, despite recent improvements, are without a clean sheet in 29 games.
The striker has been without support and has often been playing as the lone man up front, which means that he has drawn the full attention of the centre-halves. But with the return of Danny Welbeck, he should be able to play his natural game.
Manager Steve Bruce will need to him to get beyond the Baggies defence and stretch them, allowing Sunderland to bring their more creative players into the game.
Set pieces will be crucial, especially as this has proven to be a frailty for the Sunderland defence as shown in their displays at Stoke City. The Baggies height and power in the area coupled with the pinpoint delivery that the midfielder is capable of, could spell trouble for the home side.
With his ability to play anywhere in midfield, he will be very hard to mark. And with his lethal left-foot, he can test the best of Premier League keepers from any range. So the Northern Ireland international could put in a performance worthy of remembrance if the opposition back line falters yet again.