Both clubs probably wish the international break could last a bit longer after difficult starts to the season. Stoke currently sit 19th in the league table with just three points to their name, and they're only slightly better off than their opponents Sunderland who are rock bottom with only two points after seven matches.
Trying to take positives
Although neither club has yet to win in the Premier League this season, they can both take heart from their performances just before the international break where they both came from behind to earn draws against Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion respectively.
Stoke's point undoubtedly has a bit more glamour to it than Sunderland's because they were away from home and without being disrespectful, up against a better team in United compared to West Brom. Both draws were pretty fortunate though, with Stoke and Sunderland not having the better of their games and each side were extremely grateful to be only one goal down, which allowed them to find a goal and grab a point.
The usual and the unusual
No matter how much they don't want it admit to it, it's becoming a real theme from Sunderland to have an awful start to the season. They generally come into a game in mid or late October, such as this one and are still looking for a first league win. It's the fourth season in a row in fact that they've done it, and in one of the three previous campaigns they did stop the rot by defeating Stoke.
As for Stoke, it's a much bigger suprise to the rest of the country at least that they haven't got a mark in the win column by now. Mark Hughes' side have been a real constant in the top flight recently by finishing ninth for the past three seasons, but perhaps find themselves set for a battle into the relegation battle this season unless they can turn around their current form.
Allen injury leads the team news
Joe Allen is the big doubt for Stoke after occuring a hamstring problem while playing for Wales against Austria, a game where he struck an absolute screamer to open the scoring.
Meanwhile, full back Glen Johnson is definitely out for the Potters due to a thigh problem that is likely to keep him out of action for a month.
David Moyes team selection issues continue to grow with midfielders Lee Cattermole and Jan Kirchhoff joining an already long injury list. Kirchhoff went off against West Brom with a hamstring injury and Cattermole has had to recieve an epidural due to hip and leg pain.
Centre backs Jason Denayer and Lamine Kone are also doubts with a hamstring concern for the latter and an abductor muscle injury for Denayer, which he picked up while playing for Belgium under 23's.
Interesting statistics ahead of the fixture
Stoke have only won one of their last ten league meetings with Sunderland, yet they have only lost once to them at home in eight Premier League clashes.
Sunderland have used a Premier League high 25 players so far this season, and most interestingly of all, Mark Hughes has only won three of his 16 managerial duels with David Moyes.