Sunderland - West Bromwich Albion Preview: Black Cats desperate to turns draws into wins

Sunderland take on West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon looking for a vital three points as they try to maintain their top-flight status.

Sunderland - West Bromwich Albion Preview: Black Cats desperate to turns draws into wins
(Picture: VAVEL UK)

Sunderland host West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League this weekend knowing every game left in the season is crucial to maintaing their top-flight status.

Turning draws into wins

Putting in a complete performance has been a real problem for Sunderland recently as their displays in the past four games have been good, but they've only come away with three points from a possible 12 in their aim to once again beat the drop.

For one reason or another, Sam Allardyce's team have not been able to win a game. They've thrown away leads in their last two outings, away at Southampton and in the Tyne-Wear derby against Newcastle United, while they were more unlucky to only draw 2-2 at home to Crystal Palace and lose 1-0 at West Ham United.

Not keeping clean sheets

The last meeting between the two sides in October was Sam Allardyce's first game in charge. (Picture: Getty Images)
The last meeting between the two sides in October was Sam Allardyce's first game in charge. (Picture: Getty Images)

A constant theme of these recent games for Sunderland are the fact they can't keep a clean sheet no matter what goalkeeper Vito Mannone or his back-four do.

This almost guaranteed fact that they will concede a goal is a flattening feeling for the whole team as the forwards know they have to score more than once in order for the side to win and avoid relegation.

Having a more clearer look to the defence would help Allardyce out, but with injuries and off-the-field issues to contend with, he's had to try different combinations in order to get results.

Such issues have arised this week with Emmanuel Eboue's contract terminated because he failed to pay a third party in his dispute over wages.

Opponent's view

West Brom come into this game needing just a draw to reach the magic 40-point mark for the season, a tally which has not seen a club relegated for over 10 years.

They've only lost one of their last five league games and have looked unsuprisingly solid under Tony Pullis and his style of football.

A worrying fact for Sunderland is the Baggies have won more games against them than any other team in their Premier League history.

Team news

With the exception of the Eboue situation, Sunderland have a full squad available, though Wahbi Khazri and Lamine Kone were kept on Wearside as precautions, along with Younes Kaboul who returned to training after coming off against Newcastle.

Stephane Sessegnon is unlikely to play against his former team as he has still not returned from international duty with Benin, although Callum McManaman could return after long-term injury, as he featured in a friendly during the week.

Stats

Sunderland have only won one of their last 12 Premier League games against West Brom.

Sunderland have the exact same amount of points as they did after 30 games last season. (26)

West Brom have won just one of their last nine league away games.