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Premier League

  • 14 April 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • Stadium of Light, Sunderland
  • Referee: M. Jones
  • • Attendance: 37476
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Sunderland - Wolves Preview: Relegation looms for bottom side as they take on Black Cats

Terry Connor's side are in free fall, losing their last seven matches and will face a difficult fight for their survival against the impressive home form of Martin O'Neill's side


PROBABLE LINEUPS

SUNDERLAND

Mignolet
Bardsley, Turner, Kilgallon, Colback
Larsson, Gardner, Cattermole, McClean
Sessegnon
Bendtner
WOLVES

Hennessy
Zubar, Stearman, Berra, Ward
Kightly, Edwards, Henry, Jarvis
Doyle, Fletcher

Nicklas Bendtner is hoping to return for Sunderland from a back injury and resume his regular role as the lone striker filled by last week by attacking midfielder Stephane Sessegnon. Fraizer Campbell is another option up front if he recovers from a knee injury acquired in training.

If the Dane returns Sessegnon could drop back into midfield alongside Craig Gardner and Lee Cattermole in place of David Vaughan, unless Cattermole fails to recover from a knee injury picked up in training.

Wolves played with a lone striker in Kevin Doyle against Arsenal on Wednesday but could restore top scorer Steven Fletcher to the starting line-up in search of a greater attacking threat.

Christophe Berra could be the suspended Sebastien Bassong’s replacement at centre-back alongside Richard Stearman, after replacing the on-loan defender last week when his side went down to 10 men.

Alternatively former captain Roger Johnson could return to the line-up, having been left on the bench in recent matches after his involvement in an on-pitch altercation with goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.



DID YOU KNOW?
  • Sunderland sit in 11th place in the table, a comfortable 13 points above safety with only 5 games remaining.
  • The Black Cats did however lose 4-0 on Monday away to Everton and have failed to win in their past three matches.
  • Their form at the Stadium of Light is strong, winning six of their nine PL games at home since the appointment of Martin O’Neill in place of the dismissed Steve Bruce, losing only once against Arsenal.
  • Wolves’ 2-0 win over Sunderland at Molineux in December is one of only three wins for the club this season, courtesy of two goals from 10-goal top scorer Steven Fletcher (pictured right).
  • Terry Connor's side are bottom of the table, nine points below safety with just five matches left.
  • They have lost seven consecutive matches, and have picked up just one point in eight games since the club dismissed manager Mick McCarthy, only to replace him with his assistant following a 5-1 home defeat to rivals West Brom
  • The Midlands club have conceded at least two goals in each of their last nine matches, and have won just one of their last 16 league games away from Molineux.
  • Wolves won the last meeting between the two sides at the Stadium of Light, with Stephen Fletcher scoring in a 3-1 victory.

The Black Cats have won six of their nine PL games at home since the appointment of Martin O’Neill in place of the dismissed Steve Bruce, losing just one against Arsenal.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
22Simon MignoletGoalkeeper
2Phil BardsleyDefender
6Michael TurnerDefender
27Matthew Kilgallon Defender
7Sebastian LarssonMidfielder
8Craig GardnerMidfielder
11Kieran RichardsonMidfielder
14Jack ColbackMidfielder
-James McCleanMidfielder
28Stéphane SessegnonMidfielder
17Nicklas BendtnerStriker
20Keiren WestwoodGoalkeeper
3Wayne BridgeDefender
16Sotirios KyrgiakosDefender
-David VaughanMidfielder
7David MeylerMidfielder
25Fraizer CampbellStriker
10Dong-Won JiStriker
26Wayne HennesseyGoalkeeper
5Richard StearmanDefender
11Stephen WardDefender
16Christophe BerraDefender
32Kevin FoleyDefender
21Michael KightlyMidfielder
8Karl HenryMidfielder
37David DavisMidfielder
37Anthony FordeMidfielder
9Sylvan Ebanks-BlakeStriker
9Steven FletcherStriker
1Dorus De VriesGoalkeeper
14Roger JohnsonDefender
23Ronald ZubarDefender
4David EdwardsMidfielder
7Matthew JarvisMidfielder
4Eggert JonssonMidfielder
29Kevin DoyleStriker
Players to Watch
Stéphane Sessegnon
Stéphane Sessegnon
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 28
Games Goals YC RC
3 0 0 0
The attacking midfielder had to step into the lone striking role last week in place of the injured Nicklas Bendtner, but in a difficult away fixture he struggled to replicate his hold-up play and provide an attacking outlet to match the Dane, who had previously scored four goals in six games.
The 27-year-old should be more successful at home this week should the Dane fail to return however, having matched his goal tally of seven and added his own playmaking abilities over the course of a successful season for the Benin international.
Michael Kightly
Michael Kightly
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 21
Games Goals YC RC
1 0 0 0
The winger has suffered with injury problems since Wolves’ promotion to the Premier League in 2009, but he has shown what he is capable of since returning to the club from a loan spell at Championship side Watford earlier this season, scoring in successive matches before Wednesday’s defeat to Arsenal.
The threat the 26-year-old poses from the wing along with Matt Jarvis on the opposite side has been one of the few positive points for the club over the past few weeks, and will be crucial as the club seek victories in the face of imminent relegation.
Prediction
The Black Cats struggled against Everton losing 4-0 in the absence of lone striker Bendtner but with their strong home record should have less trouble against Wolves.
Terry Connor’s side are in free-fall having lost their past seven matches, and a comfortable victory looks likely for Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
Editor's Prediction
Wolves 0

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