Event Date: March 17, 2013 14:30 CET
Two teams who have a combined total of one win in their last five games are set to play each other in this Sunday afternoon game at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland are officially the most out-of-form team in the Barclays Premier League at the moment as they have lost four and drawn two of their last six league games. Their upcoming opponents are struggling for results too, although four draws in their last six games have kept their form half-decent.
In their last outing, coach Martin O’Neill’s men were thrashed 3-1 by the league’s bottom boys QPR and so their morale could be at an all-time low at the moment. Before that, they managed a 2-2 draw with Fulham at home. That stalemate ended a run of three consecutive defeats for the Black Cats, who despite being six points clear off the relegation zone, need to improve their form immediately or risk getting involved in a fight for survival.
Meanwhile, Norwich’s problems specifically originate up front. They have managed to score in just one of their last five games, a run that includes goalless draws with QPR, Fulham, and Southampton, and a 4-0 shellacking at the hands of Manchester United at Old Trafford. In the 2-1 win over Everton too, they were heading for a shutout before Kamara Keiansu and Grant Holt’s brace within a six-minute spell turn the game on its head. However, on the bright side, their defence has been quite effective and if it continues this way, their place in the PL should be safe at the end of the season.
Sunderland have a series of tricky matches coming up before now and the end of the season and so they must capitalise on this home fixture against a side that is more or less similar in strength as them. Their manager recently told the press: “We’ve got some exceptionally hard fixtures in front of us, but we have to just press ahead and get something out of them. And, in that context, the Norwich City game up next becomes a very big one for us.”
The Ulsterman is expected to include striker Connor Wickham in his squad as the 19-year-old’s one-month loan deal with Sheffield Wednesday has expired.
They play here is to back Sunderland for an outright win with Betsson at a return of 2.11.