Sunderland have lost only one of their last nine Premier League games against Stoke City going into Saturday’s crucial clash at the Britannia Stadium.
Jakob Haugaard will start in goal for Stoke with Shay Given, understudy for the injured Jack Butland, sidelined with the groin problem that forced him off at Manchester City last weekend.
Leading scorer Marko Arnautovic also limped off last weekend with a groin injury and will undergo a late fitness test, but fellow forward Jon Walters could return for the first time since having a knee operation. Xherdan Shaqiri (hamstring) has also returned to training, while Erik Pieters is available after suspension.
Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce has a full squad to choose from after Jeremain Lens shook off the virus which prevented his participation against Arsenal last weekend.
Full-back DeAndre Yedlin, who was a doubt for the 0-0 draw with the Gunners because of an ankle problem, got through the 90 minutes with no ill effects.
- Sunderland have lost just one of their last nine Premier League meetings with Stoke (W5 D3 L1).
- However, Stoke have won five and lost only one of their last eight league meetings with Sunderland at home (W5 D2 L1).
- The Black Cats have failed to score in four of their last seven away league trips to Stoke, netting just four goals in total in this period.
- Stoke have lost their last three Premier League matches – they haven’t lost four in a row since February 2012.
- Stoke’s last three Premier League games have seen them concede 12 goals and score just once.
- Sunderland have kept a clean sheet in three of their last four Premier League games, including in each of their last two. They haven’t kept three in a row in the top-flight since May 2015.
- However, the Black Cats have also failed to score in three of their last four Premier League matches.
- Sunderland have allowed their opponents a league-high 200 shots on target in the Premier League this season.
- Jermain Defoe is enjoying his best goalscoring season in the Premier League (13 goals) since 2009-10 at Tottenham Hotspur (18 goals). This is his highest tally of away goals in a single Premier League season, however (10 goals).
- Jack Butland saved 74% of shots this season in the Premier League prior to his injury, but his replacements Shay Given and Jakob Haugaard have saved just 33% of shots combined.