Sunderland vs West Bromwich Albion Preview: Already a must win game for the Black Cats?

A preview of the Premier League match between Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland vs West Bromwich Albion Preview: Already a must win game for the Black Cats?
Sunderland vs West Bromwich Albion Preview: Already a must win game for the Black Cats?

Sunderland host West Bromwich Albion this weekend, rooted to the bottom of the Premier League and still looking for their first win of the season.

Last time out

Both these teams had dramatic finishes to their games last week, but West Brom were the team feeling better after the final whistle. It was Tony Pulis' 1000th game as a manager and saw him return to one of his former clubs, Stoke City. For a long time it looked like the Potters might pick of their first win of the season, but Salomon Rondon popped up in stoppage time to make it a happier milestone game for Pulis.

As for Sunderland, a stoppage time goal went against them as Christian Benteke was gifted a free run on a free-kick to head home from close range and give Crystal Palace a 3-2 victory on Wearside. It was a game David Moyes team should have never lost though, as they led 2-0 on the hour mark when Jermain Defoe scored his second goal of the match.

However, Sunderland would give up a goal immediately from the restart and ultimately capitulate in the closing stages, much to the frustration and anger of the Stadium of Light faithful, who let it be known at the final whistle. 

Not an unusual start

Unfortunately for Sunderland it has become a constant theme in the Premier League that they get off to a terrible start and are left to play catchup early in the season. In fact this is the fourth straight season Sunderland have failed to win a league game in either August or September. The game against West Brom does fall on October 1st, so it is traditionally the time of the season that they do get going.

Baggies enjoying the top half

In contrast to Sunderland, West Brom sit bottom of the toop half of the table, with eight points on the board through six games. The shock League Cup exit to League One Northampton Town is probably their only real disappointment so far this season, as the Baggies have put in good performances both home and away.

Team news

Sunderland have had yet another really unlucky week regarding injuries in the build-up to this game as another four players would added to an already long que on the treatment table.

Adnan Januzaj is set to be out for six weeks with ankle ligament damage, while fellow wide-man, Steven Pienaar had to come off early against Palace last week with a hamstring strain.

Lee Cattermole and former West Brom player Victor Anichebe are also out of this game with groin and back issues. Meanwhile, West Brom have no fresh injury concerns with James Morrison fit again after a long-term hamstring problem.


Sunderland have only won one of their last 13 league meetings with West Brom, and there have only been two goals in the last eight Premier League meetings between Sunderland and a Tony Pulis side. West Brom have scored five goals in their last two games, as many as they'd managed in their 10 league matches prior to that.