Sunderland vs AFC Bournemouth Preview: Cherries look to down Black Cats at the Stadium of Light

AFC Bournemouth and Sunderland face off at the Stadium of Light on Saturday in a Premier League encounter that is likely to confirm the Black Cats' relegation from the top flight this season.

David Moyes'  side emerged victorious at the Vitality earlier in the season when goals from top-scorer Jermain Defoe and Victor Anichebe gave them all three points.

Eddie Howe's men, on the other hand, come into this game on the game in good form. The Cherries beat a miserable Middlesbrough side 4-0 at home and will look to continue their good form and hope for a top-half finish. 

Simon Francis' battle against Victor Anichebe should be one to watch ( Source: Alex Morton / Getty)
                                               Simon Francis' battle against Victor Anichebe should be one to watch this time around.    
(Source: Alex Morton / Getty)

Howe's men likely to get revenge?

When the teams faced off earlier in the season, it was Sunderland that emerged victoriously. Since then, the Black Cats have found it hard to maintain their consistency, which now sees them drop to the bottom of the league.

Bournemouth themselves, have had a mixed run of form going into the encounter. The Cherries have won twice, drawn twice and lost twice in the past six games.

Despite that, Howe's men look to be the better bet against a side struggling to find some hope in their faltering season. Their recent victory against Middlesbrough was a welcome delight for the fans after seeing their team fall to consecutive defeats against title-challengers in the form of Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.

Victory against the Black Cats could take the Cherries into the top half, temporarily at least, before the other teams around them finish with their weekend fixtures.

Joshua King will look to improve on his goal record, the Norwegian international has struck 14 times this season and has been a star of Howe's ever-improving Bournemouth side.

Goals have been hard to come by for this Sunderland side, they desperately need to find a proper replacement for the aging Jermain Defoe(Source: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/ Getty)

Sunderland struggling to get results

Since the turn of the year, Sunderland have failed to find any sort of consistency in their results. Moyes' side have won just once in all their games since 2017 began, which gives us an idea of the Black Cats' struggles at the back in defence.

Defoe has been responsible for more than half the goals they've scored in the league. The team has struck only 26 goals this season and the veteran Englishman has been responsible for 14 of those.

It is no secret that the team is over-reliant on their top scorer and tomorrow will be no different. Moyes has failed to strengthen a defence that has seen 59 goals go past them this season, a major reason for their fall from grace this season.

A victory for the Black Cats would still see them bottom of the league, however, it could provide Sunderland fans with some much-needed hope for the future as they look to their future in the EFL Championship.

Team News

Eddie Howe has no imminent injury concerns at the moment. Callum Wilson is still out for the season, as are Andrew Surman, Jack Wilshere and Adam Federici. The Bournemouth boss is likely to go with the same eleven that beat Middlesbrough last time out.

No fresh concerns for Moyes either, the Black Cats are desperately missing Jan Kirchoff, Bryan Oviedo and Paddy McNair in defence, the trio have missed large parts of the second half of the season. Their absence has coincided with their downturn in form. Duncan Watmore has been another key absentee through injury, how Moyes would love to have the hard-working winger at his disposal now.