Black Cats Look To Bounce Back

Source: Ian Macnicol/AAP
Sunderland beat Newcastle in the derby a fortnight ago. Source: Ian Macnicol/AAP
Sunderland will be looking to bounce back from a humiliating 6-1 defeat at the hands of Aston Villa when they face Stoke  at the Stadium Of Light on Tuesday morning (AEST). Although they are five points clear of the drop zone, 18th placed Wigan has a game in hand on the Black Cats and Paolo Di Canio’s side are by no means assured of their Premier League survival if they can’t pick up more points.

Stephane Sessegnon is ineligible for the Black Cats on Tuesday morning (AEST) after being ruled out for three matches as a consequence of picking up a red card against Aston Villa last week. With leading scorer Steven Fletcher also unavailable having been ruled out for the rest of the campaign with ankle ligament damage, Paolo Di Canio is likely to rely on Danny Graham up front.

Back-to-back wins over Norwich and Queens Park Rangers has virtually assured the Potters of Premier League survival although they won’t be taking their foot off the gas with just three games of the season remaining. Matthew Etherington could be in line for a berth in the starting XI after returning from injury on the bench in his sides 1-0  win over the Canaries last weekend, while defender Marc Wilson could come back into the squad after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Sunderland has failed to win any of its seventeen most recent Monday matches in a run stretching back over a decade. When the sides met at the Britannia Stadium in October, nothing could separate the teams at the end of 90 minutes, when the score was tied at 0-0 .

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