Sunderland - Leicester City Preview: The league leaders visit Wearside

The Black Cats are in huge danger of being relegated and must overcome a tough challenge against the high-flying Foxes this weekend.

Sunderland - Leicester City Preview: The league leaders visit Wearside
Can Sunderland cause a huge upset to help save their season? (Photo: VAVEL UK)

It is no secret that Sunderland need to start winning games fast but they may have to wait yet another week due to the superiority of their opponents this weekend.

Leicester City are in stunning form and have defied all the odds this season to find themselves a huge seven points clear at the top with six games remaining.

The facts and figures

Sunderland will need to make sure their defenders bring their A-game on Saturday due to the form of Leicester's attacking force. Jamie Vardy lies second in the race to be Premier League top scorer with 18 goals, whilst his partner in crime Riyad Mahrez has 16.

Mahrez has scored seven winning goals this season, which is more than any other player.

However, Sunderland have a player who is likely to get on the scoresheet this weekend. Jermain Defoe has scored 12 goals this season, which is his best total since 2009-10 when he scored 18 for Tottenham Hotspur. Despite this, only three of Defoe's goals have come at the Stadium of Light.

Leicester have only lost two league matches away from home this season, whilst Sunderland have only managed to pick up four wins while playing at home.

Importance of the match

Despite these two teams sitting at opposite ends of the table, the importance of the match for both sides is massive. 

Another victory for Leicester could potentially see them go 10 points clear at the top, meaning they would have one hand on the Premier League trophy. It would essentially end the title race with five games to play. 

On the other hand, Sunderland also need a surprise win here. The Black Cats sit four points behind Norwich City, who have started to put together a good run of results. A defeat for Sam Allardyce's men could leave them seven points adrift, which may be far too big of a gap to claw back before the end of the season.

Mahrez scored two when Leicester beat Sunderland 4-2 at the King Power on the opening day. (Photo: Mark Leech)
Mahrez scored two when Leicester beat Sunderland 4-2 at the King Power on the opening day. (Photo: Mark Leech)

Team news

Lee Cattermole and Younes Kaboul returned to action last weekend and they managed to get through to the game without picking up another blow. Cattermole is likely to sit in midfield next to Jan Kirchhoff and Yann M'vila

Emmanuel Eboue still hasn't resolved his issue with his former agent so has not be offered a way back into the Sunderland fold. 

Jeremain Lens was dropped last weekend by Allardyce and it seems his future may lie away from the North East after it was reported he was left out of the squad for footballing reasons, rather than injury reasons.