Just three points seperate Sunderland and Fulham before their 3pm kick-off today at the Stadium of Light.
The fixture, which has firmly been established as a mid-table clash since Sunderland’s promotion in 2007, will be an opportunity for both sides to inch closer to a more respectable mid-table position.
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Martin O’Neill’s men hang five points above the relegation zone and will be more desperate for the points going into this season’s final 10 games. But a confident Fulham arrive knowing that the Black Cats have only taken one win from the last six meeting between the sides.
Sunderland are on their worst run of form in almost two years having lost three games in-a-row before today including a 2-1 defeat to Reading. Fulham, meanwhile, are chugging along nicely having taken seven points from their last four games after last week’s win over Stoke. The saving grace for Sunderland could be Fulhams form away from Craven Cottage – they’ve only won once on the road in their last 10 attempts.
STARTING TEAM NEWS
Mignolet, Gardner, Colback, O’Shea, Bramble, N’Diaye, Larsson, Sessegnon, Johnson, Graham, Fletcher
PLAYERS TO WATCH
There are signs that Stephane Sessegnon is returning to the form that saw him win Sunderland Player of the Year last season.The arrival of former Swansea man Danny Graham up front has freed up the Benin playmaker, and with two quality strikers to aim for in Graham and Stephan Flethcer, Sessegnon has the ability to decide the game.
For Fulham, no player has had a bigger impact this season than Dimitar Berbatov. The magician has had a few tricks up his sleeve scoring nine league goals and last week he smashed a wonderful volley home to seperate Fulham from Stoke.
Sunderland are on a bad run of form but with a very settled look to their side they may just be gelling at an important time of the season. You can back them at 11/8.