Sunderland have lost only one of their last eight Premier League games against in-form Stoke City going into Saturday’s latest encounter.
Sunderland are crossing their fingers that Jermain Defoe will be fit to start after limping off with an ankle injury following his winner at Crystal Palace on Monday night.
Fabio Borini could return after missing that game with an ankle injury of his own, but Billy Jones is suspended.
Stoke, meanwhile, have a major doubt over Philipp Wollscheid, who has a sore pelvis. Either Geoff Cameron or Marc Wilson will replace the German if he is ruled out, with Marc Muniesa not yet ready to return.
Xherdan Shaqiri is fit after he was withdrawn during last weekend’s win at Southampton with a minor hamstring strain.
- Sunderland have lost just one of their last eight Premier League matches against Stoke City (W4 D3 L1).
- This will the seventh different club match-up between Sam Allardyce and Mark Hughes in the Premier League.
- Mark Hughes and Sam Allardyce are two of only three managers to take charge of five different clubs in the Premier League (the other is Harry Redknapp).
- Allardyce has now registered 150 Premier League wins as manager, the fifth-highest haul of victories behind only Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, Harry Redknapp and David Moyes.
- Charlie Adam has scored in three of his last four Premier League appearances against Sunderland.
- Peter Odemwingie scored on his Premier League debut against Sunderland in August 2010 and netted four in his first four top flight appearances against the Black Cats. However, he has failed to score in his last four games against the Wearsiders.
- Stoke have kept five clean sheets in their last six Premier League matches – this after conceding in each of their eight top flight games prior to this run.
- There have been just 23 goals scored in Premier League games involving Stoke this season, fewer than any other side.
- Jack Butland has the best saves to shots ratio in the Premier League this season (81%).