Sunderland - Fulham Preview: Steve Bruce's men seeking first victory over Cottagers in almost three years
The two sides share the same amount of points in the Premier League so far this season, but both will be looking to edge a lead over their opponents today
By Alfie Meekings
O’Shea, Turner, Brown, Bardsley
Vaughan, Cattermole, Colback, Richardson
Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Riise
Duff, Murphy, Etuhu, Dempsey
Titus Bramble, Connor Wickham and Fraizer Campbell are all currently suffering from knee injuries, leaving Stephane Sessegnon and on-loan Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner to lead the line in attack, whilst Sebastian Larsson's suspensions means David Vaughan may feature in midfield.
Fulham are missing Zdenek Grygera (knee) and Philippe Senderos (thigh) in defence, with Aaron Hughes likely to step in to replace the former.
In midfield, the Cottagers will miss Steve Sidwell – who has recently undergone a hernia operation – and Simon Davies (knee). Dickson Etuhu looks likely to step in and fill the void left by the former Chelsea and Aston Villa man.
| DID YOU KNOW?
- Both sides have taken 10 points from their first 11 fixtures in the Premier League, with Sunderland just ahead of Fulham on goal difference.
- The home side have won in only three of the 14 Premier League meetings between the two sides.
- Six goals have been scored in the Premier League this season from direct free-kicks, four of which have been in fixtures involving Steve Bruce’s men (two for and two against).
- The Black Cats have only managed to keep one clean sheet in their last 14 fixtures at the Stadium of Light.
- Fulham have won just four of their last 42 away games.
- Martin Jol’s side have conceded a third of their goals in the final fifteen minutes of games this season.
- The Cottagers have not been beaten by Sunderland since January 2009.
- Clint Dempsey has been fouled more often than any other player in the Premier League this season.
- Saturday’s fixture will be the west Londoners’ 25th fixture this season in all competitions.
- Sunderland have not managed to win two fixtures in a row across all competitions this season.
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Top 3 Predictions
Sunderland 1-1 Fulham
- 20.28 %
Sunderland 1-0 Fulham
- 13.99 %
Sunderland 1-2 Fulham
- 10.84 %
|Premier League (EPL)||11 Jan 2014||Fulham 1 - Sunderland 4|
|Premier League (EPL)||17 Aug 2013||Sunderland 0 - Fulham 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||2 Mar 2013||Sunderland 2 - Fulham 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||18 Nov 2012||Fulham 1 - Sunderland 3|
|Premier League (EPL)||6 May 2012||Fulham 2 - Sunderland 1|
|19 Apr 2014||Chelsea FC 1 - Sunderland 2||EPL|
|16 Apr 2014||Manchester City 2 - Sunderland 2||EPL|
|12 Apr 2014||Sunderland 0 - Everton 1||EPL|
|7 Apr 2014||Tottenham 5 - Sunderland 1||EPL|
|31 Mar 2014||Sunderland 1 - West Ham 2||EPL|
|27||Ahmed El Mohamady||Midfielder|
In the absence of Asamoah Gyan, the former PSG player has had to step in to a more advanced role for the Black Cats. He has already scored two goals this season, but if he is to help spark a revival for Steve Bruce’s out of form side, he will need to be more potent in front of goal.
In Saturday’s match, the 27-year-old will be looking to find the space between the away side’s defence and midfield in which he can feed off Nicklas Bendtner and cause Cottagers’ centre-backs Brede Hangeland and Chris Baird problems with his pace
The possibility of Dickson Etuhu coming into the midfield should give the 28-year-old more freedom going forward, so expect to see a lot from him on Saturday.