At 3pm on Saturday, 5th placed Sunderland host 15th placed Preston North End in a Championship clash at the Stadium of Light, in what could be a key game for both teams. Here we take a more detailed look at the implications this result could have for both sides.
Following a hard earnt draw at Vicarage Road against Watford, Tony Mowbray’s Sunderland hope to get back to winning ways against Preston North End. After not conceding a goal throughout their opening 7 games amidst a string of 0-0 draws, Preston now find themselves on a run of 3 matches without a win, fresh from a 2-0 defeat at Deepdale against promotion chasing Sheffield United.
Now only 2 points above the relegation zone, manager Ryan Lowe will be desperate for a strong showing from the Lilywhites to get their season back on track. While Preston have been strong defensively this season conceding only 4 goals in 10 games, they have struggled more at the other end of the pitch scoring only 3, making them also the lowest scoring team in the league.
Preston’s fans have been calling for a new striker to put the ball in the back, and its not hard to see why with their shyness in front of goal.
Sunderland however are on the crest of a wave at the moment, ending their 4-year stint in League 1 via victory in the playoff final against Wycombe Wanderers. Sunderland have adapted to life back in the Championship well, currently sitting in the playoff places.
However, expectations are sky high at this prestigious club and fans would not expect anything less than this, as they crave a return to the promised land of the Premier League. With players like pacy winger Patrick Roberts, and their main source of goals striker Ross Stewart, Sunderland will believe they have what it takes to push for back-to-back promotions. Despite their high placing in the table though, the Black Cats are yet to win back to back games in the Championship this season and will hope to kickstart a winning run this Saturday in what could prove to be a key game for both sides.