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Premier League

  • 28 December 2010
  • • 15:00
  • • Stadium of Light, Sunderland
  • Referee: A. Marriner
  • • Attendance: 42892
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Sunderland - Blackpool Preview: Danny Welbeck set to return to boost Steve Bruce’s depleted side

Sunderland - Blackpool Preview: Danny Welbeck set to return to boost Steve Bruce’s depleted side

TEAM NEWS

Sunderland


Steve Bruce welcomes back the in-form Danny Welbeck for the clash with Blackpool, as the Sunderland boss nurses a team currently depleted by more injuries than any other in the Premier League.

Welbeck, on loan from Manchester United, was ineligible for the Boxing Day trip to Old Trafford, while first choice centre-backs Michael Turner and Titus Bramble remain sidelined.

Possible starting XI: Gordon; Elmohamady, Onuoha, Ferdinand, Bardsley; Henderson, Riveros, Zenden; Welbeck, Bent, Gyan.


Blackpool


Blackpool, meanwhile, prepare for their first match since December 11, having seen games at Bloomfield Road against Tottenham and Liverpool postponed due to the recent cold snap.

Nonetheless, the recent break in the fixtures has done little in terms of recovery time for Ian Holloway’s absentees.

First choice goalkeeper Matt Gilks remains sidelined with a knee injury, while summer signing Marlon Harewood is ruled out with a hamstring injury, but Charlie Adam returns from suspension.

Possible starting XI: Kingson; Eardley, Cathcart, Evatt, Crainey; Grandin, Vaughan, Adam; Taylor-Fletcher, Campbell, Varney.

Freezing form

Having not featured since December 11, Holloway will be hoping that his side can thaw out the form which had seen them lose just one out of their last seven having picked up a fantastic 1-0 victory away to Stoke City last time out.

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Players to watch

D. Welbeck

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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  • 0
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The on-loan Manchester United forward has been in scintillating form in recent weeks, having scored six goals in his last six matches.

At the Stadium of Light, Steve Bruce looks to deploy a forward three – with Welbeck featuring alongside Darren Bent and Asamoah Gyan, and Holloway’s boys will need to keep their wits about them on Tuesday afternoon.

C. Adam

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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  • 0
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The Blackpool skipper has been instrumental to so much of his side’s achievements in their past 12 months, and the Scotland international will be looking to dictate the midfield on Tuesday.

With both sides likely to play 4-3-3 systems, Adam will relish the compact the midfield, where he can look to pick out the likes of Luke Varney and DJ Campbell with his eye-of-the-needle distribution.

Editor's Prediction

Just how well the sides have been able to prepare will be the key for this match, as both Bruce and Holloway will have had to nurture their players over recent weeks, but for different reasons.

The visitors break in the schedule could see freshness overcome the weary, with Sunderland – already blighted with injury – having played the league leaders on Sunday, but that’ll be determined by the Blackpool bosses grasp over his players these past weeks, and whether they’ve completed as many press-ups as mince pies.

Nonetheless, despite Sunderland being able to boast a fantastic home record, this isn’t Bruce’s strongest side, and having won a tricky fixture at Stoke last time out, I can see the Seasiders claiming at least a point.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Sunderland

Blackpool

Wins
3
1
1
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Sunderland AFC SUN
Sunderland AFC Sunderland
Draw
Blackpool FC BLA
Blackpool FC Blackpool
75%
15%

Top 3 Predictions

Sunderland AFC SUN
2 - 0
Blackpool FC BLA
Sunderland AFC SUN
2 - 1
Blackpool FC BLA
Sunderland AFC SUN
1 - 0
Blackpool FC BLA

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