A battle of the Premier League’s bottom two clubs occurs on Saturday afternoon when 19th place Stoke host basement side Sunderland.
The Potters are a team with plenty of talent but are lacking the pace and pizzazz they have demonstrated in recent years, while it already looks like another season of struggle for the Black Cats.
Neither side have won this season but it seems something’s got to give as both look to work their way out of the relegation zone.
Stoke earned a morale-boosting draw at Manchester United last time out and had on-loan goalkeeper Lee Grant to thank. He looks set to keep the gloves in Jack Butland’s absence and will be desperate to keep the club’s first clean sheet of the season.
Mark Hughes’ side are 1/1 to win the game and will be looking for Xherdan Shaqiri, who appears back to full fitness after missing six weeks earlier in the campaign, for inspiration.
Sunderland boss David Moyes did not take long to admit his side were in a relegation battle after taking over and having landed a draw before the international break, the Scot is sure to have put in plenty of hours on the training ground in a bid to improve his side.
Things looked to be on the up for the Black Cats at the end of last season but Sam Allardyce’s departure and Moyes’ arrival made it tough to get players in and they still seem to be struggling.
As was last term, their hopes seem to rest on Jermain Defoe. The striker’s ability in front of goal will be key to their survival chances and he is 9/5 to score at anytime.
Getting the ball to him has proved an issue for the Wearsiders though, but injuries could prompt Moyes to give unpredictable but exciting winger Wahbi Kazri the opportunity to prove he can provide chances for the experienced forward.
Home advantage could be key though and a 2-1 victory for Stoke at 31/4 seems to represent excellent value.