SUNDERLAND VS WATFORD PREVIEW, PREDICTION AND BETTING TIPS
Stadium of Light
After a short spell of resurgence, Sunderland hit a blip once again and find themselves at the foot of the table when Walter Mazzari’s Watford take a trip to Wearside on Saturday. The Black Cats’ survival hopes suffered a massive setback when they were trounced 3-0 by fellow strugglers Swansea last weekend. David Moyes’ side produced a praiseworthy but fruitless display against high-flying Chelsea in the follow up midweek fixture. A solitary Cesc Fabregas goal and a late Thibo Courtois super save denied Sunderland a share in the spoils.
Watford will be 9 steps and ten points clear off the hosts at kick-off but that doesn’t mean the Hornets should expect a straightforward victory at Stadium of Light. Watford haven’t been comfortable in enemy territories lately and their only win in their last 5 away fixtures came at the Riverside Stadium against Middlesbrough back in October. Watford put on yet another colorless away performance at the Etihades last midweek as the hosts, Manchester City picked up an easy 2-0 win under their belt.
Sunderland’s Jan Kirchhoff tore his knee cartilage during the game against Chelsea and might be looking at a lengthy spell of rehabilitation. Kirchhoff is the fifth Sunderland midfielder who is sidelined by injury adding to the list of Lee Cattermole, Lynden Gooch, Paddy McNair and Duncan Watmore. Victor Anichebe(thigh), Javier Manquillo(hamstring) and Steven Pienaar(calf) will be going through late fitness tests before the game.
Watford will be without the services of Argentine midfielder Roberto Pereyra again; this time he’ll be out for medical reasons. Pereyra left the pitch in the 30th minute after sustaining a knee injury during the Manchester City game. Pereyra’s absence could bring skipper Troy Deeney back in contention. The forward hasn’t found the back of the net since early October and stands only one goal away from a 100 goal milestone for his club. Craig Cathcart(groin) is also absent but Valon Behrami and Younes Kaboul could return, the latter might receive a repulsive response from the home-crowd as this is his first visit to Wearside since leaving the Black Cats in summer.
We’ll call this one for the hosts. A 2-1 score-line is the likeliest outcome.
- Sunderland(20th in the league, last 5 matches in all competitions)
0-1(Home, Chelsea)0-3(Away, Swansea)2-1(Home, Leicester)0-2(Away, Liverpool)3-0(Home, Hull)
- Watford(11th in the league, last 5 matches in all competitions)
0-2(Away, Manchester City)3-2(Home, Everton)1-3(Away, West Brom)0-1(Home, Stoke)2-1(Home, Leicester)
HEAD TO HEAD
|Total Played||Watford wins||Sunderland wins||Draws|
15 May, 2016
Watford 2- Sunderland 2
- Sunderland last 20 home games against teams above them-6 wins, 5 draws, 9 losses
- Watford last 20 away games against teams below them- 12 wins, 4 draws, 4 losses
- Sunderland have only failed to score in three of their previous 36 league meetings with Watford, but one of these came at the Stadium of Light last season (0-1).
- Watford have lost four of their five league trips to the Stadium of Light (W1 D0 L4).
- Jermain Defoe has scored against 35 different teams in the Premier League, but is yet to score against Watford in the competition (three apps, no goals).
- Watford mustered 33 shots over their two Premier League meetings with Sunderland last season, more than they did against any other side.
- David Moyes has won his last five Premier League home meetings against Italian managers – winning three vs Roberto Mancini, one vs Carlo Ancelotti and another vs Claudio Ranieri.
- Sunderland are the only side yet to score a goal from outside the box in the Premier League this season.
- The Black Cats have conceded a league-high 10 goals in the final 15 minutes of Premier League matches this season.
- If Sunderland lose this match then they will be bottom of the Premier League on Christmas Day. 21 of the 24 sides to be bottom of the league at Christmas have been relegated that season.
- Sunderland are one of only three sides to avoid relegation from the Premier League after being bottom at Christmas, however – they finished 14th in 2013-14.
- Watford striker Odion Ighalo scored more league goals than any other player in the top four tiers of English football in 2015 (29). In 2016, he has netted just three goals in 31 league apps.