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Premier League

  • 1 October 2011
  • • 15:00
  • • Stadium of Light, Sunderland
  • Referee: L. Mason
  • • Attendance: 34815
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Sunderland - West Bromwich Albion Preview: Steve Bruce's men looking to avoid fourth consecutive defeat to the Baggies

Sunderland - West Bromwich Albion Preview: Steve Bruce's men looking to avoid fourth consecutive defeat to the Baggies

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Wearsiders look to ease pressure on Steve Bruce following a difficult week for the former Wigan boss while Roy Hodgson's men look to find the net for the first time in 267 minutes


PROBABLE LINEUPS

SUNDERLAND

Mignolet
O’Shea, Turner, Brown, Richardson
Larsson, Gardner, Cattermole, Vaughan
Wickham, Bendtner

WEST BROMWICH ALBION

Foster
Reid, Olsson, McAuley, Shorey
Thomas, Mulumbu, Dorrans, Brunt
Odemwingie, Long

Steve Bruce may ring in the changes following Monday night’s defeat to Norwich City at Carrow Road with Lee Cattermole being recalled to the team in place of Ahmed Elmohamady and Connor Wickham making his full-debut for the Black Cats in place of the disappointing Stephane Sessegnon. 

Sunderland suspended Titus Bramble this week following his arrest on Wednesday, so he will not be available despite being out on bail. So Michael Turner will likely make his first start of the season alongside Wes Brown. Phil Bardsley is still suspended for the Black Cats for another two games.

West Brom may stick to the same team that drew with Fulham last week. There are goals in this team with Peter Odemwingie and Shane Long, and one could expect the duo to start for the Baggies if they stick with the 4-4-2 system.

Graham Dorrans and Youssuf Mulumbu could face competition in the midfield from Somen Tchoyi and James Morrision if Roy Hodgson decides to change his central midfielders. Gareth McAuley should keep his place at centre-back alongside Jonas Olsson after the clean sheet at the Hawthorns last week.


DID YOU KNOW?

  • West Brom have won the last three meetings between the two sides, with Sunderland’s last victory over the Baggies coming in December 2008.
  • The Black Cats have won just three games at home in 2011 with victories coming against Blackburn  Rovers, Wigan Athletic and Stoke City.
  • Roy Hodgson’s side have the dubious distinction of having scored the least number goals in the Premier League so far, with only three to their name.
  • The Baggies would sit 10 places higher in the league in 9th if games finished at half-time. Under a similar situation, Sunderland would have sat in 15th place, whic is one lower than their current position.
  • It has been 11 games since Sunderland have lost back-to-back matches. They will need to avoid defeat to West Brom to extend this record to 12 games.
  • Black Cats striker Nicklas Bendtner lies in fourth place in the Premier League assist charts with two to his name.
  • West Brom have lost three points from a winning position this season, the fourth most in the Premier League. They also have the worst second-half record in the Premier League.
  • The Baggies average 23.6 shots-per-goal this term, so they would do well to take their shooting boots to the Stadium of Light as they have not scored in 267 minutes of Premier League football.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
22Simon MignoletGoalkeeper
16John O'SheaDefender
5Wes BrownDefender
6Michael TurnerDefender
15Kieran RichardsonMidfielder
27Ahmed El MohamadyMidfielder
8Craig GardnerMidfielder
33Lee CattermoleMidfielder
7Sebastian LarssonMidfielder
28Stéphane SessegnonMidfielder
17Nicklas BendtnerStriker
20Keiren WestwoodGoalkeeper
40Louis LaingDefender
14Jack ColbackMidfielder
7David MeylerMidfielder
-James McCleanMidfielder
-Jordan CookMidfielder
10Dong-Won JiStriker
1Ben FosterGoalkeeper
2Steven ReidDefender
23Gareth McAuleyDefender
3Jonas OlssonDefender
20Nicky ShoreyDefender
11Chris BruntMidfielder
21Youssouf MulumbuMidfielder
17Graham DorransMidfielder
7James MorrisonMidfielder
9Peter OdemwingieStriker
21Shane LongStriker
12Márton FülöpGoalkeeper
28Billy JonesDefender
-Sebastien Gabriel TamaşDefender
5Somen TchoyiMidfielder
14Jerome ThomasMidfielder
33Paul ScharnerMidfielder
-Simon CoxStriker
Players to Watch
Connor Wickham
Connor Wickham
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Steve Bruce paid £8.1 million for the teenager in the summer and he has not yet been given the right kind of opportunities to justify his price tag. If he does start against West Brom, he can start paying back the transfer fee by putting in a goal scoring performance.

The 18-year-old showed against Norwich City on Monday that he can cause problems in  the attacking third of the pitch by using his height and physical presence. If he can strike up a partnership with Nicklas Bendtner in the upcoming clash, they could give the Baggies a difficult time at the Stadium of Light.
Peter Odemwingie
Peter Odemwingie
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Nigerian has not quite hit the form he was in last term, when he bagged 15 goals in his first season in the Premier League. However, he still poses a significant threat to the opposition. He has also got a new strike partner this season in Shane Long, and if the pair can work together they could bring a lot success to the Baggies.

Odemwingie is a poacher and predator in front of goal, and he should be able to capitalise if there is even a sniff of a chance to put the back in the back of the net.

Sunderland will need to keep an eye on him, which could lead to chances for others.
Prediction
It has been a tough week for Sunderland and Steve Bruce. The Black Cats need a win at the Stadium of Light to get the supporters back on their side as Bruce could be feeling the heat if they fail to get a result against the Baggies.

Roy Hodgson could also do with the points as his side are currently in the drop zone. This will be crunch game for both teams, but the Black Cats should edge this one just because of their home advantage and keep their manager away from the axe.
Editor's Prediction

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