Stoke City - Sunderland Preview: Potters looking to end poor run with visit of Martin O'Neill's in-form side
The hosts have only won once in their last seven league games, whilst the Black Cats have lost once in nine, although they have a poor record at the Britannia Stadium
By Thomas Anthony Wilson
Woodgate, Huth, Shawcross, Wilson
Pennant, Palacios, Whelan, Etherington
Bardsley, O'Shea, Turner, Richardson
Larsson, Colback, Gardner, McClean
Matthew Etherington is expected to shake off a groin injury to start after missing out at Old Trafford, whilst Tony Pulis could change his usual strike-force of Peter Crouch and Jonathan Walters as they posed very little threat.
Fraizer Campbell should retain his place up front for Sunderland after scoring in their comfortable 3-0 victory over Norwich City - the striker’s second goal in two games following a return from a long-term injury.
Martin O'Neill will have doubts concerning the fitness of Lee Cattermole and Craig Gordon, who are nursing hamstring and knee injuries respectively, while Wes Brown is out for eight weeks with a knee problem.
Marcos Angeleri (knee), Nicklas Bendtner (face), Titus Bramble (Achilles), Matthew Kilgallon and David Vaughan (both ankle) remain sidelined.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Stoke have won only once in their last seven league games, collecting a meagre six points.
- Tony Pulis’ men have scored the most amount of goals from set-pieces in the Premier League this season.
- Stoke have won five games out of five where they were winning at half-time.
- The Potters have come from behind four times already this season to snatch eight points from losing positions at home.
- Martin O'Neill's arrival in the hotseat at Sunderland has seen them come back into form, picking up 19 points from a possible 27. Only Manchester United - who have picked up 21 points - have done better during this time.
- Sunderland have not picked up a single point from the Britannia Stadium since Stoke were promoted to the top flight in 2008.
- Fraizer Campbell (right) has scored two goals in his last two games since returning to top-flight action for the first time since August 2010.
- Both teams are locked on 30 points in eighth and ninth position, nine points off a European spot.
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Top 3 Predictions
Stoke City 2-1 Sunderland
- 16.67 %
Stoke City 1-2 Sunderland
- 14.39 %
Stoke City 0-2 Sunderland
- 11.36 %
|Premier League (EPL)||23 Nov 2013||Stoke City 2 - Sunderland 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||6 May 2013||Sunderland 1 - Stoke City 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||27 Oct 2012||Stoke City 0 - Sunderland 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||4 Feb 2012||Stoke City 0 - Sunderland 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||18 Sep 2011||Sunderland 4 - Stoke City 0|
|4 Dec 2013||Stoke City 0 - Cardiff 0||EPL|
|30 Nov 2013||Everton 4 - Stoke City 0||EPL|
|23 Nov 2013||Stoke City 2 - Sunderland 0||EPL|
|10 Nov 2013||Swansea City 3 - Stoke City 3||EPL|
|2 Nov 2013||Stoke City 1 - Southampton 1||EPL|
|27||Ahmed El Mohamady||Midfielder|
The winger is expected to return from injury to start and will be looking to deliver a performance to nail his place back in the starting XI. His delivery into the box could be key for Stoke’s strikers.
The Benin international has been influential in midfield for the Black Cats during their impressive recent run of form, with numerous goals and assists. Expect him to be at the heart of their play once again.
This will be a tight game and not very pretty on the eye. However, I believe Stoke are due a win and expect them to end their barren run.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed