Sunderland vs Stoke City: Match Preview

Premier League: Sunderland & Stoke go head-to-head as both sides look to secure Premier League survival

Peter Whalen
Published 06/05/2013 11:41 by Peter Whalen, read by 2,320 people.

Paolo Di Canio's men welcome Stoke City to the Stadium of Light this evening in what is a must-win fixture for the home side.

One more win should see Sunderland secure their Premier League status for another season, which will take them to the magic 40 point mark. However, Stoke boss Tony Pulis will be hoping for another positive result after seeing his side achieve back-to-back wins against fellow strugglers Norwich City and already relegated QPR.

Stoke will head to the Stadium of Light in good spirits after their recent displays, whilst The Black Cats had been in fine form until their 6-1 mauling at the hands of Paul Lambert's Aston Villa.

However, following the appointment of former West Ham star Di Canio, it had looked as though Sunderland had found themselves playing with confidence, passion and determination. It will be really interesting to see how Sunderland respond after their first major setback under their new boss.

Speaking about the relegation run-in, Di Canio told reporters: "I'm not worried because in the next three games we are going to perform in the way we know we have to." The Sunderland fans will be hoping this confidence will rub of on the players and that they will play with confidence.

Sunderland will be without their talisman Stephane Sessengon, having had their appeal rejected by the FA after seeing their playmaker sent of for a mistimed tackle on Aston Villa midfielder Yacouba Sylla. The Benin star, who is by far Sunderland's most creative player, will sit out the remainder of the season.

Prediction: Sunderland 2-1 Stoke City


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