On March third, Sunderland travel to the KC Stadium to take on Hull City. The two sides are neck and neck in the league separated by only one point. With the threat of relegation looming over both of them, this would he a huge three points for either side. Sunderland are winless in their last five matches and with pressure on Gus Poyet growing, this would be a huge three points for the club. Despite losing to Stoke at the weekend, Stoke have had an upturn in firm recently with seven points from their previous three matches. This is a relegation six pointer that could turn out to help make or break either teams season.
Both sides have a few injuries to deal with, but Hull’s injuries are more severe. Hull have four long term injuries with Mo Diame and Liam Rosenior set two be out for at least another two weeks. They will be missing Welsh international James Chester for at least another month. They will continue to be without Robert Snodgrass after his knee injury on August.
Sunderland’s injuries are not as bad. They do have Emanuele Giaccherini out for the rest of the season. Other than the Italian, all their other injured players have a chance to come back for the match. Billy Jones, Jack Rodwell, and Will Buckley will all have late fitness tests to see if they’ll make it for the Hull match.
After losing the first six matches against Sunderland, Hull have won the last four. There have been five red cards in the last five matches between the two sides. Sunderland have been the draw specialist of the league with 13 draws. Since they have all the draws, they have the joint fewest wins claiming three points in only four matches. The Northeast side also have the second lowest goal tally in the league with only Aston Villa scoring fewer goals.
Hull City: Dame N’Doye
Despite all the signings this summer, Hull have had trouble scoring goals this season. So they made another investment this January in Senegalese striker Dame N’Doye. It’s only four games into his Hull City career, but the 30 year old has made a good start with two goals in four matches. After faring so well last season, Hull have really struggled this season, but, if N’Doye can become a consistent goalscorer, the Tigers should have enough to stay up this season.
Sunderland: Jermain Defoe
Sunderland have also struggled for goals this season, and they too made an investment in a striker this January. The Black Cats made a big investment in the aging Jermain Defoe hoping that he can get the goals to keep them up. So far, Defoe’s Sunderland career has had mixed results. After scoring two in his first five, Defoe has gone scoreless in his last three. Gus Poyet will be hoping for a goals to game ratio closer to a goal every two games considering what they paid for him and their lack of goalscorers. Defoe does know how to score and score in bunches on the Premier League and Sunderland will need him to score in bunches if they are to stave off relegation.
Matches between two poor sides are often tough to call. One could turn it on or one could be even worse than usual allowing the other to escape with three easy points. I think with their upturn in form and with N’Doye and Jelevic scoring with regularity recently, Hull will be able to grab the three points. Sunderland are in a bad run and haven’t show much that would indicate they’ll turn it around. Hull, while far from safety, are showing signs that they could turn it around. I think the home side will grab the three points and move further from the relegation zone.
Prediction: 2-0 Hull City
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