Sunderland travel to Crystal Palace on Monday night knowing a win will take them to within one point of climbing out of the drop zone.
Following weekend defeats for Newcastle and Aston Villa, plus Bournemouth’s draw at Swansea, a victory for the Black Cats will move them above the Cherries into 18th place.
However, taking all three points away from Selhurst Park will be a tough ask for Sam Allardyce’s side who have yet to win on the road this term, drawing one and losing five of their six matches.
And if they play as poorly as they did in their last away trip – a 6-2 defeat at Everton – it will be another long night for Big Sam who has collected just three points from his first four matches in charge.
Alan Pardew’s men will be high on confidence having defeated Liverpool at Anfield a fortnight ago, ending Jurgen Klopp’s unbeaten start as Reds boss.
However, a crumb of comfort for the Wearsiders will be Palace’s home form. The Eagles have been impressive away from their own ground, winning four of their six matches, but at home have collected just seven points from a possible 18.
A third home win of the season against Big Sam’s side will see the South London outfit move to sixth in the table, two points behind fifth-placed Tottenham.
Sunderland’s only win in the last six meetings between these two sides can in a 3-1 win at Selhurst Park last season.
Dwight Gayle (hamstring) is still out but Marouane Chamakh is back in the fold.
Bakary Sako is a doubt for the Eagles though, and Kwesi Appiah is definitely out.
Lee Cattermole (groin) is expected to return for Sunderland after missing the defeat to Southampton, whilst John O’Shea is also back after missing the last two matches.
League Position: Crystal Palace – 10th (19 pts); Sunderland – 19th (6 pts)
Last Meeting: Sunderland 1-4 Crystal Palace – April 11th, 2015
Key Players: Crystal Palace – Yannick Bolasie; Sunderland – Steven Fletcher
Form: Crystal Palace – WWLLDW; Sunderland – LDLWLL
Shoot Says: Crystal Palace 2-1 Sunderland