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Premier League

  • 1 February 2012
  • • 20:00
  • • Stadium of Light, Sunderland
  • Referee: L. Mason
  • • Attendance: 34476
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Sunderland - Norwich City Preview: Black Cats undefeated in their last five matches at the Stadium of Light

Sunderland - Norwich City Preview: Black Cats undefeated in their last five matches at the Stadium of Light

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Hosts are also without defeat in their last eight matches in all competitions, while Paul Lambert's men arrive after going five games unbeaten away from home

PROBABLE LINE-UPS

SUNDERLAND


Mignolet
Bardsley, O'Shea, Turner, Richardson
Larsson, Colback, Gardner, McClean
Sessegnon
Wickham

NORWICH CITY


Ruddy
Martin, Ayala, Whitbread, Naughton
Pilkington, Johnson, Fox, Surman
Holt, Morison
Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill will have doubts concerning the fitness of Wes Brown, Lee Cattermnole and Craig Gordon, who are nursing knee, hamstring and knee injuries respectively.

Marcos Angeleri (knee), Nicklas Bendtner (face), Titus Bramble (Achilles), Matthew Kilgallon and David Vaughan (both ankle) are all sidelined with respective injuries.

With Bramble out, Michael Turner should partner John O'Shea in the centre of defence, while Vaughan's absence could mean another start for Craig Gardner.

Up front, Connor Wickham should play despite Fraizer Campbell returning from injury to score against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup on Sunday.

Norwich City manager Paul Lambert has goalkeeper Declan Rudd out of action through ankle injury. James Vaughan and Ward Elliott are both recovering from knee injuries and remain doubtful of making it in time for the upcoming clash.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Sunderland met these opponents for the first time in the Premier League in September last year. They were beaten 2-1 at Carrow Road on the day.
  • In fact, the team playing at home has not lost in the last eight meetings between the two teams in the league.
  • Martin O'Neill's arrival has seen the home side come back into form, as they have picked up 16 points since he was handed the reins. Only Manchester United - who have picked up 18 points - have done better during this time.
  • The Black Cats have lost only one of their last eight matches - the defeat came against Chelsea - while they are undefeated in their last five at the Stadium of Light.
  • Norwich City are unbeaten in the last five games away from home in all competitions.
  • Neither club has beaten the other by more than a one-goal margin in the league since 1985, when Norwich managed a 2-0 win over the Wearsiders.
  • The visitors have conceded 36 goals so far in the Premier League. No team in the top 10 has shipped in more.
  • If all matches had ended at half-time, then Norwich would be in eighth place, just behind Arsenal.
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
22Simon MignoletGoalkeeper
2Phil BardsleyDefender
6Michael TurnerDefender
16John O'SheaDefender
7Sebastian LarssonMidfielder
8Craig GardnerMidfielder
11Kieran RichardsonMidfielder
14Jack ColbackMidfielder
-James McCleanMidfielder
28Stéphane SessegnonMidfielder
25Fraizer CampbellStriker
20Keiren WestwoodGoalkeeper
3Wayne BridgeDefender
7David MeylerMidfielder
27Ahmed El MohamadyMidfielder
10Connor WickhamStriker
10Dong-Won JiStriker
38Craig LynchStriker
1John RuddyGoalkeeper
2Russell MartinDefender
6Zak WhitbreadDefender
16Kyle NaughtonDefender
40Daniel AyalaDefender
4Bradley JohnsonMidfielder
-Andrew CroftsMidfielder
11Andrew SurmanMidfielder
14Wesley HoolahanMidfielder
20Steve MorisonStriker
9Grant HoltStriker
31Jed SteerGoalkeeper
22Elliot WardDefender
12Anthony PilkingtonMidfielder
25David FoxMidfielder
17Elliott BennettMidfielder
10K. JacksonMidfielder
18Aaron WilbrahamStriker
Players to Watch
Connor Wickham
Connor Wickham
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
2 0 0 0
Connor Wickham will likely want to give a strong performance and put one or more into the back of the net, following Fraizer Campbell ‘sreturn from injury to score a goal against Middlesbrough.
John Ruddy
John Ruddy
Position: Goalkeeper
Squad Number: 1
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
John Ruddy will likely have to put in a good performance at the Stadium of Light if his side are to take anything from the game, since the Black Cats have vastly improved in form since Martin O'Neill took over.
Prediction

Both teams are side-by-side in the Premier League and will undoubtedly look to move higher up. But O'Neill is a smart manager, and he should be able to guide the Black Cats to a narrow victory.

Editor's Prediction

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