Sports Mole previews Saturday’s Championship clash between Sunderland and Stoke City, including predictions, team news and possible teams.
Sunderland square off against Stoke City On Saturday afternoon they will be looking for a win that will put them back in the Championship hunt.
Although nine places separate the teams in the standings, Stoke are just eight points clear of their 10th-placed opponents as they look to make a late push for sixth.
A game show
Michael Beale he may only be seven games into his tenure at Sunderland but he has already learned that he has a lot of work to do to win players over.
The boos started when Sunderland lost 1-0 at home to Hull City on January 19, the Black Cats have lost three games in a row since picking up seven points from ninth over Christmas and New Year.
Forming a strong opinion on Beale at this point is difficult because he was only in the North-East outfit for a month, but he would have understood the situation before accepting the job.
Despite picking up just seven points from a possible 18 in the Championship, Beale will feel that overcoming the five-point gap to fifth-placed West Bromwich Albion is more than possible.
While Sunderland have won eight of their 14 games at the Stadium of Light in 2023-2024, they have also lost five. Only four teams have lost more times in familiar surroundings in the Championship this season.
That history will go away Steven Schumacher he sees an opportunity for his Stoke side as he looks to lift his new club out of the relegation zone.
Sitting eight points clear of the relegation zone, the Potters can feel safe at the moment, especially as they have recently put together a seven-game unbeaten run.
However, Stoke must find a way to bounce back from last weekend’s 2-1 defeat at home to Birmingham City, a defeat that prevented them from reaching 15th place.
What’s more, the outfit from Staffordshire are four games unbeaten on their travels, conceding just 19 goals in their 14 matches.
Sunderland Championship form:
Sunderland form (all competitions):
Stoke City’s Championship Form:
Stoke City form (all competitions):
Beale will be delighted with his Sunderland XI, Luis Semedo the ability to find rare opportunities between attacks.
Dennis Cirkin and Bradley Dick Both are looking to return to the team after hip injuries, but they won’t be considered starters right now.
Schumacher must decide how far he wants to change at Stoke after finding himself 2-0 up after 49 minutes against Birmingham.
Tyrese Campbell he proved his strength after a long injury layoff in the last third of the race, and could start at the front. Ryan Mmeee.
Ben Wilmot it’s a security measure, right Ben Pearson is another option among the midfielders having played just one minute of football since the end of the year.
Sunderland who could start:
Patterson; Seelt, Ballard, O’Nien, Hume; Ekwah; Pritchard, Bellingham, Neil, Clarke; Semedo
Stoke City are expected to start:
Iversen; Hoever, McNally, Rose, Thompson; Pearson, Burger, Baker; Jun-Ho, Campbell, Vidigal
We say: Sunderland 1-1 Stoke City
As a result of Hull’s defeat, Beale comes into the competition already contested. We can see him getting back on track with the looting portion of the game, though that won’t take the pressure off his shoulders.
For detailed analysis of possible results, scores and other details of this match please click here.