Premier League: Sunderland v West Brom match preview

A look ahead to Wednesday night’s Premier League fixture at the Stadium of Light

The clash between Sunderland and West Brom could act as the deciding factor as to whether each team secures their position in the Premier League for next season, as both currently occupy the two spots just above the relegation zone. The situation is clear cut: Each team simply needs a draw in their penultimate game to ensure they will be playing in the top flight again next season. In this scenario, huge swings in goal differences would be required for Norwich, the team sat directly below Sunderland, to have any chance of survival.

After seven defeats in eight weeks between February and April, it was not looking promising for Sunderland ahead of games against Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United. Sunderland went into their match against City in 20th place, seven points behind Norwich in 17th. However, a 2-2 draw at the Etihad sparked a dramatic turnaround for The Black Cats, in which they have gained ten points from their last four games. Sunderland followed this up with three consecutive wins, first breaking Jose Mourinho’s incredible home record at Chelsea with a 2-1 victory, before beating Cardiff 4-0 and taking a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford against United. This run of late season form has catapulted Gus Poyet’s men to the brink of survival, but defeat against West Brom would take their fight for survival down to the wire.

Poyet has named an identical starting line-up for the last four matches and it is likely that he will continue that against West Brom. Connor Wickham will lead the attack, with Fabio Borini and Adam Johnson offering the support from advanced midfield roles. The hosting Black Cats are without a victory over West Brom since December 2008 when Kenwyne Jones scored a brace during a 4-0 victory.

West Brom also endured a run of defeats to Aston Villa, Cardiff and Spurs, despite having been 2-0 up within the first ten minutes in all three games. However, victories over relegation rivals Swansea, Norwich and West Ham in recent weeks have left the Baggies three points clear of the relegation zone. Although West Brom have all but guaranteed another season in the Premier League, Pepe Mel will be hoping that his team can repeat their victory from the reverse fixture in September when they took a comfortable 3-0 win over Sunderland, after what has been a bumpy season at the Hawthorns.

KICK-OFF: Wednesday, 7.45pm

PAST THREE MEETINGS…

West Brom 3 (Sessegnon, Ridgewell, Amalfitano) Sunderland 0, Premier League, September 2013

West Brom 2 (Lukaku 2) Sunderland 1 (Sassegnon), Premier League, February 2013

Sunderland 2 (Gardner, Sassegnon) West Brom 4 (Gera, Long, Lukaku, Fortune), Premier League, November 2012

STATS…

Sunderland are without a victory over West Brom since December 2008 when they won 4-0 at home.

Sunderland have not won four games in a row in the Premier League for 14 years.

The Black Cats have the worst record in the Premier League against bottom-half opposition, earning just 11 points from 16 matches.

West Brom have not lost in the last eight meetings between the two sides, winning seven and drawing once.

West Brom have drawn the most Premier League games this season with 15.

West Brom need a point from their last two games to guarantee their Premier League safety. Two defeats would still likely be enough to beat the drop with Norwich's goal difference currently 19 goals worse than the Baggies.

ODDS…

Sunderland to win: 2.10

West Brom to win: 4.20

Draw: 3.20

TV: Highlights on BBC1 at 10.40pm.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders