How Sunderland can banish recent woes by continuing strong Stoke streak
Sunderland can continue strong Stoke streak
David Moyes has a tough task ahead of him this season, with his Sunderland side currently rock-bottom of the Premier League table, but promising fixture form against next opponents Stoke City could see them start a revival.
The Black Cats have been flirting with relegation for many seasons now and have already become embroiled in an early battle to edge away from the danger zone. Just two points from seven domestic outings so far sees them lie haplessly at the basement of the standings, leaving a mountain to climb already.
Although, with Mark Hughes’ Stoke sitting narrowly above them on three points after an unexpectedly poor start to proceedings, Sunderland should hold some confidence for their weekend trip to the Britannia Stadium.
Not only are the Potters enduring appalling form, Sunderland have only lost once in this fixture in the previous six meetings since January 2014 and have taken six points from the last five match-ups in Staffordshire.
The travelling Wearsiders are therefore a promising 14/5 with Coral to secure another three points on their latest visit, with the club having not lost domestically to Stoke since November 2013. Could this be where Moyes turns things around at Sunderland?
Black Cats to claw to Stoke success
This Saturday sees a host of tasty 3pm fixtures take place, including West Bromwich Albion’s Nacer Chadli facing former employers Tottenham, and Sunderland will be aiming to earn their first league triumph of the current campaign.
Moyes knew the size of the task at hand upon arriving at the Stadium of Light, but even he may have been surprised by such another slow start to the term. Though there’s no better time to revive form and fortunes against a struggling Stoke this weekend.
Hughes led the Potters to a ninth-place finish last season and has overseen many big names arrive at the club during his tenure, most notably former Barcelona starlet Bojan Krkic and more recently Manchester City frontman Wilfried Bony on loan.
Although, the former Man City boss has failed to get his summer signings to gel this term, with Bony looking out of sorts while Ramadan Sobhi and Bruno Martins Indi are yet to fully settle into new surroundings. Stoke are also without a domestic win this season, entering this clash on a run of four defeats and two draws.
It may be a bit premature to call it a relegation six-pointer, but rather than a must-win game it could be seen as a must-not-lose encounter and Sunderland are 12/5 to come away from their latest trip with a point.
Defoe key to grabbing away result
Sunderland’s away record this season has been far from encouraging but, with their latest opponents and likely relegation rivals suffering from a lack of confidence, it’s a great time for Moyes’ side to capitalise and clinical marksman Jermain Defoe should be key.
The Black Cats striker was an integral part of his side’s successful bid to beat the drop last season under scorned former England boss Sam Allardyce, netting 15 goals in 33 Premier League appearances. His crucial strikes included a successfully converted injury time penalty to earn a draw against Stoke.
Defoe, who has already dispatched four times in seven games this season, is therefore 5/4 to get on the scoresheet again anytime against a defensively weak Stoke. The Potters have been shipping goals lately, holding the top-flight’s second worst defensive record, and Sunderland’s prolific poacher will be hungry for more success.
Dutch defender Patrick van Aanholt has also enjoyed some scoring form this season, with two goals in six outings and, having netted in the home win over Stoke last term, he is 7/1 to tuck away another anytime.
With such a promising fixture record over Stoke, Sunderland can look to launch a season revival on their weekend travels in order to avoid being dragged deep into a late relegation scrap this campaign once again.
Do you think the Stoke v Sunderland tips are worth backing for this weekend? Have your say below in our comments section!