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Premier League

  • 2 March 2013
  • • 15:00
  • • Stadium of Light, Sunderland
  • Referee: M. Halsey
  • • Attendance: 39312
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Sunderland - Fulham Preview: Black Cats hoping to end three-game winless run at home

Martin O'Neill's side have been in woeful form of late but face a visiting side who have failed to win in nine of their last 10 games away from Craven Cottage

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

SUNDERLAND

Mignolet
Gardener, O'Shea, Cuellar, Colback
Sessegnon, Larsson, N'Diaye, Johnson
Fletcher, Graham

FULHAM

Schwarzer
Reither, Senderos, Hangeland, Riise
Dejagah, Kacaniklic Sidwell, Duff
Ruiz
Berbatov,


Martin O'Neill is unlikely to make drastic changes to his team, despite the Mackems suffering defeat against West Brom last time out.

Danny Rose (hamstring), Lee Cattermole (knee) and Wes Brown (knee) all remain sidelined, with their returns expected to be a couple of weeks away.

And so the Black Cats' line-up should have a familiar feel, with Danny Graham and Steven Fletcher tasked with grabbing the goals up top.

Fulham, meanwhile, should name an unchanged back four having kept a clean sheet up against the aerial threat of Stoke in their last game.

Kieran Richardson is expected to be in the squad which travels to the Stadium of Light, the home of his former club, but it is unlikely he will start the game.

Simon Davies will also return from injury in time, but long-term absentees Kerim Frei (knee) and Mahamadou Diarra (groin) remain unavailable.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Sunderland have won only one of their last six meetings with Fulham.
  • A win for the home side would see them go level on points with the Cottagers in the Premier League.
  • Sunderland have lost their last three top-flight games, the first time they have done so this season.
  • Fulham have failed to win nine of their last 10 away games.
  • The last time Martin Jol's side won back-to-back Premier League games was in September.
  • Sunderland have failed to win any of their last three games at the Stadium of Light in all competitions.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
22Simon MignoletGoalkeeper
16John O'SheaDefender
19Titus BrambleDefender
18Alfred N'diayeMidfielder
7Sebastian LarssonMidfielder
8Craig GardnerMidfielder
14Jack ColbackMidfielder
11Adam JohnsonMidfielder
28Stéphane SessegnonMidfielder
9Danny GrahamStriker
9Steven FletcherStriker
20Keiren WestwoodGoalkeeper
2Phil BardsleyDefender
5Kader ManganeDefender
24Carlos Javier CuéllarDefender
-David VaughanMidfielder
-James McCleanMidfielder
23Mark SchwarzerGoalkeeper
3John Arne RiiseDefender
14Philippe SenderosDefender
-Brede HangelandDefender
20Sascha RietherMidfielder
4Steve SidwellMidfielder
14Georgios KaragounisMidfielder
24Ashkan DejagahStriker
9Dimitar BerbatovStriker
11Bryan RuizStriker
16Damien DuffMidfielder
38Neil EtheridgeGoalkeeper
18Aaron HughesDefender
35Emmanuel FrimpongMidfielder
11Kieran RichardsonMidfielder
8Urby EmanuelsonMidfielder
10Mladen PetricStriker
20Hugo RodallegaStriker
Players to Watch
Steven Fletcher
Steven Fletcher
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
3 0 0 0
The striker has been responsible for 34.5% of Sunderland's points this season and provided a goal and an assist the last time these two teams met. Fletcher has never gone longer than five games without scoring for Sunderland and, considering he has failed to find the net in his previous four outings, should be the Fulham defence's main concern.
Bryan Ruiz
Bryan Ruiz
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 11
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The 27-year-old will hope to keep up his current run of form following an impressive performance against West Brom last weekend. The midfielder has scored one goal and provided five assists in eight appearances away from Craven Cottage and his contributions will be vital again here.
Prediction
Sunderland's previous home form suggests that this could be a difficult afternoon for O'Neill's side, but with Fulham regularly failing to pick up the points on the road, it could be time for the Graham and Fletcher to help push the Black Cats away from the relegation zone.
Editor's Prediction
Fulham 1

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