Two sides that sit next to eachother with eight points in the Barclays Premier League table face-off at the Britannia Stadium today.
Tony Pulis will be pleased to end a period that has seen his side face most of the league’s top sides on the last five matches, and to come out with some points. Draws with Man City and away to Liverpool came as bonuses, whilst defeats to Man Utd and Chelsea, both away, can be forgiven. In amongst those ties was a first win of the season, at home to Swansea, adding to the points acquired from five draws previously.
Sunderland meanwhile come into the game on the back of a 1-1 derby draw at home to Newcastle, the first tie in which Steven Taylor did not get their goal, thanks to an own-goal by Demba Ba – Taylor has netted all five goals that the Black Cats have scored in the league this season.
Stoke should have midfielder Glenn Whelan back from a hamstring injury, and have no other major injury worries – Peter Crouch will lead the line as a lone striker, and will look to add to a tally that has seen 75% of their goals netted from headers this season.
Sunderland only have injury worries over defender Titus Bramble (hip), and Wes Brown is still out with a knee injury. Lee Cattermole also returns from suspension.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Stoke