Sunderland vs Hull City Preview: Crucial relegation battle on Wearside

We preview the Premier League clash between Sunderland and Hull City at the Stadium Of Light.

Sunderland vs Hull City Preview: Crucial relegation battle on Wearside
Sunderland V Hull City preview: Crucial relegation battle on Wearside. Photo: Getty/ Stu Forster

Sunderland host Hull City in this mid-season Premier League match, with both teams occupying a relegation spot.

A first win finally

It's been two weeks, courtesy of an international break, since the last Premier League weekend and you can still feel the sighs of relief from Sunderland fans after they finally got their first league win of the season. Goals from Victor Anichiebe and a penalty from Jermain Defoe handed David Moyes his first top flight win with Sunderland at the 11th attempt.

Despite falling behind early at AFC Bournemouth and playing the last half an hour with 10 men after Steven Pienaar was sent off, the Sunderland players dug in and went and won the match through Defoe's penalty in the latter stages against one of his former clubs. Their first win puts them onto five points alongside Swansea City and six points from safety.

Tigers also riding high

It's not just Sunderland who went into the international break on a high , as opponents Hull also grabbed a vital win against south coast opposition before the two week interval. Mike Phelan's team picked up their third win of the season a fortnight ago by turning over Southampton 2-1 at the KC stadium.

Snodgrass
Snodgrass ceebrates his winning goal. Photo: Getty/Alex Lindsey

Like Sunderland at Bournemouth, Hull fell behind early against the Saints, but two goals in as many minutes just after the hour mark from Robert Snodgrass and Michael Dawson allowed City to move into double points for the season. Hull are now on 10 points, two places and five points better off than their hosts on saturday and within one point of three teams above them.

Both ending awful runs

It goes without saying how bad Sunderland's start to the season was, with no win in their opening 10 league games and only two points on the board, which officially made them the worst Premier League team in history at that stage of a season. Even when they had their record low points tally of 15 in the 2005/06 season, Sunderland had won a game before the start of November.

However, Hull City had been on a really poor run themselves untill the last Premier League weekend, as they'd gone on a slide of eight games without a win and only one point picked up after they had claimed victory in their opening two league games against champions, Leicester City and fellow strugglers, Swansea.

Team news

Sunderland captain, Lee Cattermole is set to be out for at least four months after having surgey in the USA.

Fellow midfielders Jan Kirchoff and Jack Rodwell remain out of action with hamstring problems.

Sebastian Larrson and goalkeeper, Vito Mannone have returned to fitness in better news for the Black Cats.

Cattermole has suffered an injury setback. Photo: Getty/
Cattermole has suffered an injury setback. Photo: Getty/Mark Runnacles

Hull are without three strikers in the form of Will Keane, whose been ruled out for the season with knee ligament damage, while Abel Hernandez is still out with a groin problem and Adama Diomande serves the final match of his three game suspension.

Midfielder, Shaun Maloney is also missing with a back problem, so manager Phelan will once again rely on youth this season. 

Stats

Neithier team has kept a clean sheet in the league this season.

Hull midfielder, Snodgrass has been involved in 50% of their 10 goals in the league this season, scoring four and getting one assist, he is the only Hull player to have scored more than one in the league this season.

Sunderland edge the Premier League head to head against Hull, with four wins to City's three in eight meetings.