Sunderland vs Burton Albion Preview: Bottom two clash on Wearside with relegation looming

Sunderland vs Burton Albion Preview: Bottom two clash on Wearside with relegation looming

Sunderland take on Burton Albion this Saturday at the Stadium Of Light, with only a couple of games left in both sides miserable 2017/18 Sky Bet Championship seasons.

jamie-joslyn
Jamie Joslyn

Sunderland host Burton Albion in a clash of the Sky Bet Championship's bottom two clubs, with the loser's relegation to be potentially confirmed this weekend.

Too little too late

Over the last five games, Sunderland have not actually looked like a side destined for relegation to League One in terms of how they've played.

However, the Black Cats have only won one of these fixtures and accumulated just six points to leave them bottom of the league table and six points from safety with only nine points left to play for.

The last three matches in particular sum up the season for Sunderland, with Chris Coleman's team drawing the match after being in a winning position.

The Wearsiders may not have lost a match this season after going in front, but they've drawn a lot more games than they've won in this situation and have dropped a staggering 22 points from winning positions this season.

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Brewers clinging onto hope

Burton Albion are obviously in a similarly dangerous position to their hosts this weekend, but like Sunderland, the Brewers have at least shown a bit of fight in the last couple of weeks.

Nigel Clough's side have picked up five points from their last four games and they did really well to beat Derby County last time out considering they'd just been thrashed 5-0 at home by Hull City four days prior.

Burton are a point closer to safety than Sunderland with three games left, but they might as well be six points from the survival mark as well because of their awful minus 45 goal difference, which is clearly the worst in the league.

Etiher way, every game left is must-win for both these clubs, so something's got to give for one or perhaps both teams if this game were to end in a draw.

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Team news

Chris Coleman revealed some damaging team news this week that influential young players Joel Asoro, Lynden Gooch and Donald Love would not play again this season due to respective injuries.

Burton's biggest miss for this game is top scorer Lloyd Dyer who is out with a hamstring injury. 

Clough also has doubts over Tom Naylor, Damien McCrory, Marvin Sordell and Tom Flanagan who all missed the win over Derby. 

Stats

Should Sunderland be relegated this weekend then they'll be the first club to suffer consecutive relegations to the third tier after spending 10 straight seasons in the top flight.

Sunderland have kept the fewest clean sheets in the Championship this season with 5, in fact, no team in England's top four divisions has kept fewer. 

Lucas Akins has been directly involved in a higher share of Burton's league goals this season over any other player - 30%. 

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