Sunderland - Swansea City Preview: Swans looking to extend unbeaten run to seven games
The Black Cats are searching for a third consecutive league victory for the first time this season against the Capital One Cup finalists, who are yet to win away from home in 2013
By Adam Mazrani
Gardner, O'Shea, Bramble, Rose
Johnson, Larsson, N'Diaye, McClean
Rangel, Williams, Chico, Davies
Ki, Britton, De Guzman
Pablo, Michu, Routledge
Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill will be reluctant to make too many changes from the side that collected a 3-2 victory at Wigan last time out, though Danny Rose (hamstring) could come back in at left-back in place of Jack Colback if he recovers from a hamstring problem.
The Black Cats will also give fitness tests to Carlos Cuellar (hamstring) and captain Lee Cattermole (knee).
Visitors Swansea may also name an unchanged XI from the side that clinched a place in the Capital One Cup final with a draw against Chelsea, with Michu leading the line ahead of Danny Graham, a reported Sunderland transfer target.
Kemy Agustien (ankle) and long-term absentee Neil Taylor (ankle) are the only players missing for Michael Laudrup's men.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Sunderland are searching for a third league win on the bounce for the first time since the February 4 2012, when Martin O'Neill's men saw off Swansea, Norwich and Stoke.
- Steven Fletcher scored both goals for Sunderland in their 2-2 draw at Swansea earlier this season, his first goals for the club in a season that so far has seen him score 10.
- All 10 of Fletcher's goals this season have come in the Premier League.
- Only six teams have a poorer goalscoring record than Sunderland in the Premier League this season: QPR, Wigan, Reading, Norwich, West Ham and Stoke.
- The two sides have met 25 times, with 12 victories to Sunderland, six to Swansea, and seven draws.
- Swansea are yet to win away from home in the Premier League in 2013, but are unbeaten in six games.
- Both sides have one Premier League ever-present each: Ashley Williams for Swansea and Simon Mignolet for Sunderland.
- Michael Laudrup's side failed to score on eight occasions this season, two more than Martin O'Neill's side, but sit two places above them in the Premier League table.
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Top 3 Predictions
Sunderland 1-2 Swansea City
- 13.54 %
Sunderland 2-1 Swansea City
- 11.67 %
Sunderland 0-2 Swansea City
- 10.21 %
|Premier League (EPL)||19 Oct 2013||Swansea City 4 - Sunderland 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||29 Jan 2013||Sunderland 0 - Swansea City 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||1 Sep 2012||Swansea City 2 - Sunderland 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||21 Jan 2012||Sunderland 2 - Swansea City 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||27 Aug 2011||Swansea City 0 - Sunderland 0|
|21 Dec 2013||Sunderland 0 - Norwich City 0||EPL|
|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|
|27||Ahmed El Mohamady||Midfielder|
|20||Jonathan De Guzmán||Midfielder|
The recently signed French Under-21 international had an impressive full debut for the Black Cats in their 3-2 victory at Wigan, producing a display full of power, poise and precision as well as a level of grace you would not expect from the midfielder. He could be crucial in breaking up Swansea's midfield passing play.
|Jonathan De Guzmán|
Michu may get all the headlines but equally important and impressive in Swansea's successes this season has been the on-loan Villarreal midfielder. De Guzman's form in recent weeks has been nothing short of superb, showcased by his superbly taken double against Stoke in the Welsh side's last league outing. A similar performance at the Stadium of Light may well see Swansea take victory.
Swansea have proved difficult to beat of late and given their propensity to keep possession, Michael Laudrup's men could frustrate the home side who are often under pressure from their supporters to make fast starts to matches. However, victories on the road have been in short supply in the league for the Swans and in front of their own supporters, Sunderland should have enough to come away with a point.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed