Relegation contenders Sunderland face a tough home fixture against West Brom, in a game the Black Cats cannot afford to lose.
Sunderland will hope to get back to footballing matters after a week of much controversy at the club. The sentencing of former player Adam Johnson and the resignation of the club’s chief executive, Margaret Byrne, has certainly taken the attention off the football.
On the pitch, it has been another tough season for the Black Cats, who once again find themselves in a relegation battle.
They were unlucky not to win the Tyneside derby last time out against Newcastle United and will have identified this game as a huge opportunity for all three points.
They face a West Brom side who sit comfortably in mid-table and have very little to play for this season. ‘Big Sam’ Allardyce will hope Tony Pulis’ side are already in holiday mode as they seek to fight their way out of trouble.
The Baggies will be without James Morrison (hamstring) and Chris Brunt (knee) again, plus Callum McManaman is a slight doubt after picking up an ankle injury.
Sunderland will be without striker Duncan Watmore, who has yet to recover from his ankle injury.
Defenders Billy Jones and Younes Kaboul are slight doubts ahead of this pivotal game in Sunderland’s campaign.
League Positions: Sunderland – 18th (26 pts); West Brom – 11th (39 pts)
Form: Sunderland – DWLDDD; West Brom – LWWDWL
Previous Meeting: West Brom 1-0 Sunderland – October 17, 2015; Premier League
Key Players: Sunderland – Jermain Defoe; West Brom – Salomon Rondon
Shoot Says: Sunderland 0-0 West Brom