Sunderland will be targeting their third win in the space of a week when they travel to a Swansea City side that got back on track last time out.
Manager Garry Monk’s decision to sit back and allow Southampton plenty of possession in Swansea’s last game paid off flawlessly, as they stifled the hosts and frustrated them throughout. It was a risk, particularly after two disheartening results, but Jonjo Shelvey’s sweet strike made it a perfect afternoon on the South coast.
It was not a style of play associated with Swansea, and they will surely return to their more familiar passing style here, and Shelvey is set to play a key role in that. The former Liverpool man has had his low points this season, but now appears to be back at his best.
It was crucial for Sunderland that they got their win over fellow strugglers Burnley, and even more so given that all of the sides below them suffered defeat. The addition of Jermain Defoe has provided some much-needed cutting edge to a side that has found goals hard to come by all season.
Gustavo Poyet will be desperate to help his team find some consistency, which has been almost totally lacking since his first game in charge – the 4-0 loss in this corresponding fixture last season. Victory here could lift the Black Cats six points clear of the drop zone.
Kyle Bartley is back for Swansea but Gylfi Sigurdsson is still suspended. Ki Sung-Yueng is back from the Asia Cup, while Marvin Emnes and Wayne Routledge are both out.
Lee Cattermole and Connor Wickham are both out for Sunderland, who are waiting on the fitness of Emanuele Giaccherini, Adam Johnson and Jack Rodwell.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Swansea