Premier league match time dawns at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday, February 5, as Stoke City get set to host Sunderland, in match week 26.
This is a second leg game, with the first leg, hosted by Sunderland on November 6 won 2-0 by the hosts, on the back of a brace by Gyan.
It was a mediocre game; Sunderland were the better side in the first half and Gyan put them ahead on 9 minutes. Stoke showed marginal improvement after the interval but could not prevent Gyan from adding a second goal with four minutes of regulation time left.
Stoke could justly have felt hard done by by the referee who ignored a handball by Cattermole, in the area. Equally, Sunderland fans might point out that the referee had also turned a blind eye when Jones made contact with Sunderland keeper Mignolet before the ball headed towards the goal and Cattermole warded it off with his own version of ‘hand of god’.
Head to head, the teams have won 2 each of 5 league games played between them.
Of their last 7 league matches, Stoke have won 3 and lost 4 including the last two in succession. Sunderland have won 3 of their last 7, while losing 3 and drawing the remaining one. Stoke have won 6 of 12 games hosted, while Sunderland have won 3, drawn 5 and lost 4 of 12 games on the road, this season.
In match week 25, Stoke lost 2-0 away at Liverpool, while Sunderland lost 4-2 at home to Chelsea.
On current form, this should be a hard-fought game, and Stoke should strive to make home advantage count.
Stoke had the following players in their starting eleven against Liverpool: Begovic, Wilkinson, Faye, Huth, Higginbotham, Pennant, Wilson, Diao, Whitehead, Carew and Walters. Delap, Collins and Fuller featured as substitutes.
Sunderland’s starting eleven against Chelsea comprised Gordon, Onuoha, Bramble, Ferdinand, Bardsley, Elmohamady, Henderson, Sessegnon, Malbranque, Richardson and Gyan. Colback and Cook were used as substitutes.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.