Sunderland v Bournemouth

Sunderland's Jason Denayer and David Moyes

    TEAM NEWS

    Sunderland manager David Moyes has fitness concerns over four players.

    Lee Cattermole, Darron Gibson, Jack Rodwell and Jason Denayer are all nursing injuries and will be assessed, while Sebastian Larsson must complete a three-match ban.

    Bournemouth midfielder Dan Gosling will miss the game because of a calf problem sustained in last weekend’s 4-0 win over Middlesbrough.

    Cherries manager Eddie Howe otherwise has no fresh injury concerns.

    MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

    Steve Bower: “Sunderland’s mission has looked bleak for some time; defeat at Middlesbrough[1] in the week made it impossible and 10 successive seasons in the top flight will come to an end if they fail to at least match Hull’s result at Southampton.

    “The one remaining hope is that they go down fighting, although even that is looking increasingly unlikely. A team that have failed to score in 17 of their 32 games were always going to be in the bottom three.

    “Bournemouth’s comfortable win against Middlesbrough last weekend was a welcome one.

    “Now they have been challenged to avoid their season tailing off and get the five points needed to beat last season’s tally.”

    Twitter: @SteveBowercomm[2]

    WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

    Sunderland manager David Moyes: “While we still have a chance we will keep fighting. We want a winning momentum and we want to rediscover that winning feeling.

    “A long-term plan is definitely needed for this football club. Unfortunately, a lot of people want to talk about it but they don’t actually want to see that this is the way it has to happen.

    “But we will put it in place. There are a lot of things done behind the scenes we are trying to improve on.”

    Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe: “It is difficult to have sympathy with an opposition manager until after the game as the focus is so much on your team.

    “We would love to get over 40 points this weekend, that is the one every one talks about, then we can move on from there.

    “We will not be underestimating Sunderland. I have seen many amazing things in football, so our mentality has to be to go out against a tough side fighting for their lives.”

    LAWRO’S PREDICTION

    Sunderland have not won at home since 17 December, and I cannot see that run ending against Bournemouth.

    The Cherries are all but safe after hammering Middlesbrough last time out, and I don’t think it will be long until they are mathematically sure of staying up.

    Prediction: 1-1

    Lawro’s full predictions v Line of Duty actor Adrian Dunbar[3]

    • Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game[4]
    Sunderland have only won one of their last 48 home matches after conceding the opening goal<!–

    MATCH FACTS

    Head-to-head

    • Bournemouth’s only victory in all nine previous meetings came at home in their first Premier League fixture against Sunderland, in September 2015.
    • Three of the four previous encounters on Wearside in all competitions ended 1-1, with Sunderland 3-2 victors in the old Division Two in 1989.
    • Sunderland won away at Bournemouth in November so could do the double over another club for the first time in two years.

    Sunderland

    • The Black Cats have earned just two points from their last nine fixtures and failed to score in eight of them. Their only victory in 16 games came against Crystal Palace in February (W1, D4, L11).
    • David Moyes’ side are winless in eight home matches since beating Watford before Christmas (D4, L4).
    • They have been behind in games for 20 hours and 20 minutes this season, more than any other Premier League side.
    • Sunderland have failed to score in a league-high 17 matches this season.
    • Relegation from the Premier League for a fourth time would equal the record held by Crystal Palace and Norwich City.
    • Jermain Defoe has not scored a goal in nine games, a barren run spanning 14 hours and 15 minutes since his brace at Crystal Palace on 4 February.

    Bournemouth

    • Bournemouth have gone seven league away matches without a win, conceding 18 goals, since beating Swansea on New Year’s Eve (D3, L4).
    • They have only earned two victories and 11 points in the last 19 Premier League away games.
    • The Cherries have conceded 32 goals since the turn of the year, six more than any other Premier League side.
    • Joshua King has scored 11 league goals in 2017, two more than Sunderland.
    SAM’s verdict
    Most probable score: 1-1 Probability of draw: 26%
    Probability of home win: 37% Probability of away win: 37%

    SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by @ProfIanMcHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.

    References

    1. ^ defeat at Middlesbrough (www.bbc.co.uk)
    2. ^ @SteveBowercomm (twitter.com)
    3. ^ Lawro’s full predictions v Line of Duty actor Adrian Dunbar (www.bbc.co.uk)
    4. ^ Predictor game (www.bbc.co.uk)

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