An Important Three Points Up for Grabs at the Stadium of Light

Last updated: December 1, 2016 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Saturday, 3.00pm
Venue: Stadium of Light
Coverage: TalkSport Radio
Home form: LLWWL
Away form: WDLLD
Last season: Sunderland 0 – 2 Leicester
Competition: The Premier League

It would not be unfair to say, that despite Leicester’s status as the current Premier League champions, this fixture appears somewhat of a relegation battle. While Claudio Ranieri tinkers to find the form that won Leicester the league last season, Sunderland’s season seems to have finally gotten started, after back to back wins, followed by a spirited performance against Liverpool. Despite being rooted to the bottom of the table, Sunderland may feel they have a great chance to take all three points from this fixture.

After a dreadful run which saw just two draws earned in his first ten matches as manager, David Moyes finally got his first win as Sunderland boss against Bournemouth, before tasting success again the following week against Hull. Despite losing to Liverpool the week after, Sunderland put in a gritty display, that saw them hold out until the last twenty minutes. Calling it a slow start would be a huge understatement, but the season has now started for the Black Cats, who know that despite the fairly early stage in the season, each game is vital. Sensing weakness in a struggling Leicester, Sunderland will be up for this one. Moyes is likely to keep the same lineup, but may change the formation slightly, after understandibly setting up very defensively against Liverpool last week.

The Foxes have lost just once in the last nine games against Sunderland, but confidence at the King Power is currently low. Leicester’s away form has been particularly poor this season, with just a draw so far, and a match against a rejuvinated Sunderland will prove difficult. Ranieri may look to justify his tinkerman nickname in the coming weeks. The stars of last season – Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez – have not been firing recently, and Ranieri may look to the alternate options he has up front, in the form of Okazaki, Slimani and Musa. The North East is never an easy place to travel to and the Leicester players will have to rediscover last season’s grit and determination if they want to take points back to Leicestershire.

Team News

Paddy McNair is likely to miss out once again through a knee injury, with his likely return date currently unknown.

Lee Cattermole, Jack Rodwell and Fabio Borini are all still sidelined, while Jan Kirchoff has recovered but will likely miss out due to lack of match fitness.

Kasper Schmeichel is nearing recovery from a hand injury, but is not expected to start in this match up, so Ron-Robert Zieler should continue in his place.

Danny Drinkwater is suspended while Jamie Vardy’s extensive run without a goal could see him lose his place to Musa, Slimani or Ozaki soon.

Expected line-ups:

Sunderland (4-2-3-1): Pickford, Jones, Koné, O’Shea, van Aanholt, Denayer, Ndong, Pienaar, Watmore, Defoe, Anichebe
Subs: Mannone, Larsson, Khazri, Manquillo, Love, Januzaj, Gooch
Injured: McNair, Rodwell, Cattermole, Borini
Doubtful: Kirchoff
Not available:
Leicester (4-4-2): Zieler, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez, Amartey, King, Albrighton, Okazaki, Vardy
Subs: Hernández, Musa, James, Hamer, Schlupp, Slimani, Gray
Injured: Schmeichel, Chilwell
Doubtful: Mendy
Not available:

So far this season

. . .
Sunderland this season Leicester this season
20th League Position 14th
1 (1) (at home) Wins (away) 3 (0)
3-0 vs. Hull Biggest win 3-0 vs. Burnley
1 (1) (at home) Draws (away) 3 (1)
1-4 vs. Arsenal Biggest Defeat 1-4 vs. Liverpool
Jermain Defoe (7) Top scorer Islam Slimani (4)
Duncan Watmore (2) Assist Leader Jamie Vardy (2)
Y28, R3 Discipline Y22, R0
5 Failures to score 3
1 Clean Sheets 3
7 Both Teams to Score Games 9
7 Over 2.5 Games 10
6 Under 2.5 Games 3
  • Sunderland’s mini revival was brought to an abrupt halt last week against Liverpool, though the team put in a strong performance. Moyes will be looking for this to continue, in a game he will see as winnable.
  • Leicester are now 6 games without a clean sheet after being so resolute at the back last season. This a good chance to pick up a clean sheet, though Sunderland have only failed to score at home once so far this season.
  • Jermaine Defoe already has 7 goals to his name and has been accompanied on the scoresheet in recent weeks by Anichebe. Sunderland’s strikeforce is more potent now and will expect success against a struggling Leicester defence.
  • Leicester haven’t won a game away from home all season. They have managed a goal in all but one away game however, a trend which looks likely to continue here.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
10/04/2016 Premier League Sunderland 0 – 2 Leicester Vardy 66′
08/08/2015 Premier League Leicester 4 – 2 Sunderland Vardy 11′
16/05/2015 Premier League Sunderland 0 – 0 Leicester
22/11/2014 Premier League Leicester 0 – 0 Sunderland
01/01/2007 League Championship Leicester 0 -2 Sunderland Hysen 79′

Conclusion & Betting Tips

Sunderland have had a minor resurgence of late and they will be pushing for victory here. While Leicester are the better side, their away for this season is dreadful; just 1 point away from home all season. The champions don’t seem to have it in them to earn a victory away from home then, while Sunderland may lack the quality to overcome the Foxes. We predict a hard earned draw for Leicester here. The stats show that it’s also likely that both teams will score. At Ladbrokes you can get the draw at 23/10, both teams to score at 4/6, or go for the big win with both teams to score and the draw at 16/5.