Sunderland - West Bromwich Albion Preview: Baggies look for swift response versus Black Cats

Match preview of West Bromwich Albion's trip to The Stadium of Light to face relegation-threatened Sunderland on Saturday, in the Premier League

Sunderland - West Bromwich Albion Preview: Baggies look for swift response versus Black Cats
Photo: VAVEL UK

Following the international break, domestic affairs are resumed this weekend, as West Bromwich Albion travel to The Stadium of Light on Saturday, to face Sunderland in the Premier League.

After a surprise home defeat to a Norwich City side - in a similar boat to The Black Cats - last time out, The Baggies travel to Wearside looking to bounceback swiftly.

After taking a point only from St. James' Park in the Tyne-Wear derby two weeks ago, Sunderland remain entrenched in a relegation scrap.

Defeat to Canaries was first in five 

Before the loss at The Hawthorns, Tony Pulis' men had gone unbeaten in the league since February. What The Baggies' boss will but acutely aware of however, that was also in the north-east versus The Magpies, as they travel north again.

More surprising was the loss was the first at home since October. As West Brom face another bottom of the table side, can Tony Pulis reverse the trend?

Black Cats hard to beat at home

Since Sam Allardyce took over the reigns, Sunderland have become a tough nut to crack. The Black Cats have lost just once at home since the turn of the year, to Manchester City. 

Their biggest problem has been picking up wins however. In their last six outings, Allardyce's men have drawn four of the last six. They have also two, versus West Ham United away, although they have toppled Manchester United.

Baggies have dominant top-flight record 

West Brom and Sunderland have met on seventeen occasions in the Premier League. The Baggies have the greatly superior record, winning nine and losing just three times. The last time Sunderland beat West Brom was indeed at home, via goals from Fabio Borini and Jack Colback.

The last time the sides met back in October, the West-Midlanders edged a tight contest 1-0, thanks to a Saido Berahino effort.

Saido Berahino scored the only goal of the game back in October. | Photo: Getty Images
Saido Berahino scored the only goal of the game back in October. | Photo: Getty Images

Team news

Sunderland have doubts over several key men. Defensive trio Billy Jones, Younes Kaboul and Lamine Kone will all be assessed late on. Jones and Kone have knocks, whilst Kaboul has a shin injury. Midfielder Wahbi Khazri also has a knock and boss Allardyce will make a late call on his fitness.

Callum McManaman may make a return from an ankle injury, but James Morrison is still not match fit, from a hamstring strain. Chris Brunt is a long-term absentee.