Sunderland go into this fixture on the back of a losing streak whereas the visitors Burnley haven’t won on the road all season.
During the week, England boss Gareth Southgate called striker Jermain Defoe up to the squad for games against Lithuania and Germany. In injury news, defensive midfielder Jan Kirchhoff has suffered a set back of about four weeks, this will come as a major blow for David Moyes who doesn’t have an abundance of midfield options. South African midfielder Steven Pienaar is still unavailable due to injury. However, more positive news emerged as Victor Anichebe is said to be on the road to recovery. Jason Denayer will return after the Manchester City game where the Belgian centre half was ineligible against his parent club.
Irishman Robbie Brady will be unavailable for Sean Dyche as he is suspended for picking up too many yellow cards. Dean Marney and Kevin Long are the only other injury concerns for the Clarets; out with a cruciate ligament injury and knee injury respectively. Steven Defour is unlikely to feature after being ruled out with a hamstring strain while Johann Berg Gudmundsson is still out with a medial ligament injury.
Burnley have won two out of the three meetings this season. The Clarets beat the Black Cats 4-1 at Turf Moor on New Year’s Eve thanks to an Andre Gray hat-trick. Sunderland then hosted Dyche’s side in the FA Cup 3rd round, an uneventful 0-0 bore draw forced a replay in Lancashire which saw a slightly changed Burnley demolish a heavily changed Sunderland 2-0.
A couple of years ago Sunderland ran out 2-0 winners at the Stadium of Light thanks to Defoe’s first goals for the Wearsiders, Burnley were later relegated that season. In the 2009/10 season, Burnley saw off Sunderland 3-1 at Turf Moor thanks to a brace from one time Sunderland target David Nugent and a penalty from Graham Alexander with Darren Bent netting for the visitors, again Burnley were relegated to the Championship after poor management from Owen Coyle.
The most famous meeting between the two sides was back in 2006/07 when Sunderland dramatically clinched automatic promotion from the Championship with a 3-2 home win over Burnley. Roy Keane’s Sunderland scored in near enough the last minute from Carlos Edwards’ wonder strike from outside the area. Sunderland missed a penalty that day, thanks to goalkeeping heroics from Danish international Brian Jensen. Three spot kicks were awarded: one converted by Sunderland’s David Connolly, and one missed by the same player and Burnley converted theirs thanks to Andy Gray.
Sunderland Starting 11
Pickford; Jones, O’Shea, Kone, Denayer, Oviedo; Ndong, Gibson, Januzaj; Defoe, Borini
Burnley Starting 11
Heaton; Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward; Arfield, Barton, Hendrick, Boyd; Barnes, Gray
Score: Sunderland 2-1 Burnley