Name: Jermain Defoe
If Sunderland do survive in the Premier League this season, much of it will come down to the goals of Jermain Defoe. The veteran striker has scored 11 league goals for the Black Cats, meaning his side are currently above the relegation zone on goal difference.
With the next highest scorer for Sam Allardyce’s side on just three goals, Defoe’s finishing ability over the next eight matches really could be the difference.
Name: Patrick van Aanholt
Although some fans may not rate his defending, Van Aanholt has shown this season what a huge threat he can be going forward, and is far more suited to the left wing-back role he has been used in more recently by Allardyce.
The Dutchman has scored three Premier League goals, and also picked up two own goals from his efforts at goal, to help the low-scoring Black Cats.
Name: Yann M’Vila
There hasn’t really been many stand out performers for Sunderland this season, but one of their more consistent players has certainly been M’Vila in the middle of the park.
The Frenchman has been solid, if unspectacular, in the middle of the park, and likes to put his foot in and win the ball back, something that is crucial to a team fighting near the bottom of the standings.