Premier League Preview: Sunderland - Fulham

Black Cats hope for first shut out in five games against one of the Premier League's worst attacking sides away from home


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PROBABLE LINE-UPS

Sunderland (4-4-1-1)
Mignolet; Elmohamady, Onuoha, Turner, Bardsley; Henderson, Colback, Cattermole, Muntari; Malbranque; Sessegnon.

Injuries have hit the Black Cats hard this season, which means they are down to bare bones. Last week’s win over Wigan Athletic came at a cost with strikers Asamoah Gyan and Danny Welbeck being ruled out for the season. With no other forwards available, manager Steve Bruce will be forced to play Stephane Sessegnon up front with Steed Malbranque just behind him. Sulley Muntari will be drafted into left midfield.

Fulham (4-4-2)
Schwarzer; Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Salcido; Davies, Murphy, Sidwell, Dempsey; Dembele, Zamora.

Mark Hughes will be tempted to stick with the same side that beat Bolton Wanderers so convincingly. But Sunderland have struggled against the more physical teams in the division this season, so he may bring in Bobby Zamora to trouble the Black Cats back line.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Twelve of Sunderland’s 39 league goals have come from players other than strikers this season.
  • The Black Cats have the better record when the two sides have met, winning 22 of the 53 games played between them.
  • Steve Bruce’s side have gone five games without keeping a clean sheet.
  • Sunderland have the 12th best home record in the division with 26 of their 41 points coming at the Stadium of Light. However, they have won just twice at home in 2011.
  • Lee Cattermole has the most red cards in the Premier League this season with two sending offs.
  • The visiting team have not scored a goal in the last five fixtures between the clubs.
  • Clint Dempsey (pictured right) has found the net 12 times for Fulham this season, which puts him in tied sixth in the top goalscoring charts in the Premier League this season.
  • Fulham have won just one game away from home this season, which is the fewest in the top flight.
  • The Cottagers have scored just 14 goals away from home this season, which is the third fewest in the Premier League. Only Wolves (12) and Newcastle (13) have scored lesser.
  • Mark Hughes' side have drawn nine away games this season. It is the joint highest in the division along with Manchester United.