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



Bardsley, Turner, Kilgallon, Colback
Larsson, Gardner, Cattermole, McClean

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.

  • 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.