Premier League Betting: Sunderland v West Brom - Fan v Fan Preview



Sunderland perspective: Martyn McFadden, A Love Supreme.

Team news

We have no real injury issues ahead of this fixture. Craig Gardner returns to the selection pool after serving a suspension for five yellow cards, but after our performance against Fulham, you have to wonder if Martin O'Neill will be willing to change a winning team.

Form

Our display against Fulham last weekend was something very much out of the ordinary: we actually scored a goal, for a start... and then added two more! I'm not going to try and argue that we still would have won the match had Fulham had eleven men on the pitch, but our performance was a positive one nevertheless, and Sunderland fans finally have something to sing about again.

Head-to-head

The last time we played West Brom we got thrashed 4-0, although that was at The Hawthorns. They well and truly destroyed us, and that game essentially defined our latter season woes and the dip in form that continued this term. While we'll be gunning for revenge, the Baggies have been fantastic so far this term and Steve Clarke is proving to be a revelation.

Best bets

Sunderland win at 2.40. Despite recent history, I'm going for a home win here.

Stephane Sessegnon to score first at 9.00. After the attacker found the net at Craven Cottage, I fancy him to double his tally for the season on Saturday at a mouthwatering price.

Shane Long to score last at 7.75. I rate the Irishman very highly, and would have loved us to sign him before West Brom got there.

Score prediction: Sunderland 2-1 West Brom (10.00)

Predicted side

West Brom perspective: Scott Bytheway, Baggies Blog.

Team news

Central defender Gareth McAuley should be back, having missed the Chelsea win with a hamstring injury. Romelu Lukaku is available for selection being forced to sit out the visit of his parent club. Midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu is out for around ten days, while Ben Foster now has a second groin injury and will have to sit out his third game. With Boaz Myhill putting in two good performances in his absence, though, this does not create concern.  Peter Odemwingie has a good shout for a start, having put 4 past Sunderland in his last 4 games against them.

Form

Albion have won their last three games - Southampton at home, Wigan away, and most notably Chelsea at home - so they will go into this game with confidence. Our current league position (4th) is testament to this belief and the good football Clarke has got us playing.

Head-to-head

Martin O'Neil is capable of setting his team up to stop counter-attacks, which he will need to do against West Brom. The Baggies have been using this approach well, especially away from home, so if Sunderland can stop us breaking, we may find it hard work. We've won four of our last five games against the Black Cats, though, so this should give our players confidence.

Best bets

The draw at 3.30. Both teams have good defences, and with Sunderland blocking the Albion counter-attack, I'll go for a draw.

Both teams to score at 1.67. I think we'll trouble the Sunderland defence, but I also see Steven Fletcher as a real threat to us.

Shane Long to score at 3.20. Our striker has been in great form of late, and should have some joy against the Sunderland centre-backs, who aren't the fastest.

Score prediction: Sunderland 1-1 West Brom (6.50)

Predicted side