UK time is: 08:19:10
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Sunderland vs. Blackburn

Stadium of Light

22nd August 2009


Preview: Sunderland vs. Blackburn Rovers

With Sunderland aiming for a top half finish, home fixtures against teams like Blackburn will be seen as must win games.

Last season, the Black Cats dropped too many points at home against teams in the bottom half of the league, with Blackburn taking a point home with them after their visit last December.

Sunderland lost their opening home fixture in midweek, although that was against Chelsea, a game that the majority of fans expected to see the club lose. However, Steve Bruce will hope to continue to win over the more sceptical Sunderland fans with a victory. A win would also see Sunderland have their best ever start to a Premier League season.

Danny Collins knows the importance of this fixture already: 'For us, I think a top-half finish would be a reasonable achievement.

'I can't see any reason why we can't finish 10th or above.

'But if we are to do that, these are the type of fixtures we need to win - against the teams I think will be in and around us.

'We did well to beat Bolton. When you look at them over the last few seasons, the top teams have never liked going there - the likes of Arsenal and who have you.

'But we took all three points and that was a great start.

'I think Blackburn will be a similar type of game to the Bolton game - very physical. That's the way Sam likes his sides to play.

'We know it's going to be a tough game, but if we can play to our potential and get the ball down again, hopefully we'll have enough to come away with the points.'

Vital Quotes:

Speaking to reporters, manager Steve Bruce said: 'It's pretty good news as far as the injuries are concerned.

'Steed seems to have shaken off the ankle injury he picked up at Bolton on the opening day of the season, and he will train today.

'Kieran got through the Chelsea game, although he was suffering from the effects of a dead leg, but he should be okay for tomorrow.

'And Lorik's problem with his hand and Lee's straining of his back shouldn't keep them out of the game.

'I expect all four to be available for tomorrow's match, and I'm pleased with that, because you need a strong team when you are facing a side managed by Sam Allardyce.

'I think they have got an advantage in the fact that they haven't played a midweek game, and will have benefited from the rest.

'It will be a real test for us, but I'm not a big one for making too many changes if I can help it.

'And although it will be asking a lot to ask some players to play such an intense three games inside a week, I'm happier to do that, because I know the players are keen to play, and it is an important game for us.'

Sunderland Team News:

Steed Malbranque has returned to training after injuring an ankle and could return to the starting XI, replacing Jordan Henderson. Steve Bruce has worries over Lee Cattermole (back), Lorik Cana (hand) and Marton Fulop (heel), but none of them have been ruled out of the match.

John Mensah is unlikely to have signed in time to make his Sunderland debut.

Squad: Fulop, Gordon, Carson, Bardsley, Ferdinand, Collins, Nosworthy, Da Silva, McCartney, Cana, Cattermole, Richardson, Reid, Malbranque, Leadbitter, Henderson, Tainio, Edwards, Bent, Jones, Campbell, Healy.

Player to watch: Kenwyne Jones

The Trinidadian has failed to score so far this season, so he will be eager to get off the mark, especially with how Darren Bent has started the season.

Blackburn Team News:

Blackburn captain Ryan Nelsen will return after recovering from a knee problem and Vince Grella is in contention to start, but Allardyce has stated his desire to give Nikola Kalinic his debut in the Carling Cup match against Gillingham, meaning Jason Roberts and Benni McCarthy are likely to continue up front.

Blackburn are still awaiting international clearance for former Real Madrid defender Michel Salgado and will not feature.

Squad: Robinson, Jacobsen, Samba, Givet, Warnock, Diouf, Nzonzi, Andrews, Pedersen, McCarthy, Roberts, Brown, Grella, Khizanishvili, Hoilett, Olsson, Di Santo, Nelsen, Kalinic, van Heerden.

Player to watch: El-Hadji Diouf

How often does a former player come back to haunt their previous employers? Diouf`s move was far from a success and was shipped off to Blackburn in January, despite only making the move to the Stadium of Light last summer.

Match Facts & Stats

Last season the two clubs faced each other on five occasions after being drawn against Blackburn in both cup competitions, three of which were at the Stadium of Light. Both the league and the FA Cup game ended in scoreless draws and Sunderland won the Carling Cup game 2-1. In the fixtures at Ewood, Blackburn won both games 2-1.

Sunderland are looking for their first home win against Blackburn since a 1-0 win in September 2001.

Ref Watch:

Referee: Alan Wiley Assistant referees (Linesmen): Dave Bryan and Shaun Proctor-Green Fourth official: Martin Atkinson

Match Prediction:

With the improvements the Steve Bruce has made to the side over the summer, Sunderland will have enough to win this game. Blackburn will come looking to frustrate the Black Cats, but I believe we will have enough to break them down en route to a two goal victory.

Next Fixtures:

Sunderland will face Norwich City in the Carling Cup on Monday night before a tough trip to Stoke next weekend.

Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!

The Journalist

Writer: Jimmy Coverdale Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday August 21 2009

Time: 2:08PM


Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Articles

Stats: Chelsea v Sunderland (Saturday April 19 2014)

Sunderland Halt Citeh's Charge (Wednesday April 16 2014)

Stats: Manchester City v Sunderland (Wednesday April 16 2014)

Poyet Will Stay If He Can (Wednesday April 16 2014)

Keeper Must Wait For Contract Talks. (Tuesday April 15 2014)

Bardsley Misses Crucial Away Games (Tuesday April 15 2014)

Archived Articles

List All Vital Sunderland Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. smegma 31
2. 8barcodes 13
3. Poyets Pet 11
4. Wattsy44 11
5. Book Thief 10
6. pookie 9
7. treader 8
8. Freaky Teeth 6
9. thomas bjorn 6
10. Terrified Tomato 5

League Results (view all)

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
14. Hull City 34 10 6 18 -9 36
15. Aston Villa 34 9 8 17 -14 35
16. WBA 34 6 15 13 -13 33
17. Norwich 35 8 8 19 -28 32
18. Cardiff 35 7 9 19 -34 30
19. Fulham 35 9 3 23 -42 30
20. Sunderland 34 7 8 19 -24 29

Breaking League News

Spurs : 23/04/2014 08:17:00
Cole Interesting Real
Chelsea : 23/04/2014 07:42:00
Atletico Madrid 0 Chelsea 0
Chelsea : 23/04/2014 07:33:00
Liverpool: Sterling Labelled Best In Europe
Liverpool : 22/04/2014 19:24:00
Summer transfer activity.
Chelsea : 22/04/2014 16:42:00
Liverpool: Four Reds In MNF Dream Team
Liverpool : 22/04/2014 14:45:00
Cattermole Ready For The Hard Work To Come
Sunderland : 22/04/2014 14:39:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Can Sunderland stay up?
Suggested By:  
Yes, I also believe in Santa 29%
No, more chance of knitting fog 71%