Writer: Gary Johnson
Date:Friday April 16 2010
Stadium of Light
Steve Bruce heads into this game with a great home record behind him and he will be looking to continue this against Burnley. The main reason Sunderland are safe from the bottom three is our great record at home, if only we could have repeated this away from home.
Sunderland can ensure safety if they avoid defeat on Saturday and will face a confident Burnley. Brian Laws took them away to Hull City and demoloshed them 4-1 so Sunderland will need to up their game.
It's absolutely killed us,' admitted the Black Cats boss. 'If we just had two or three wins in the 13 games which would have been bang average then it could have been a 'what might have been' but there's a lot of clubs in the same position like Blackburn.
'It's what the Premier League is, it's just unfortunate it happened to us.
'We had a wonderful start, a horrible middle and at the moment we're having a decent end to our season.
'If can get another couple of wins before now and the end of the season it will have been one of those nearly seasons that could have taken off.'
Lee Cattermole will miss this game and could be out for the rest of the season with a alf problem.
Lorik Cana, Alan Hutton and John Mensah will all return to the squad.
John Mensah is the reason we are good at home. We have only lost three games that he has started, the problem being, he does not start enough.
With Burnley being very poor in front of goal this should allow Mensah and Turner to avoid any upset in defence.
Burnley manager Brian Laws could name an unchanged team against Sunderland following last weekend's win at Hull.
Graham Alexander scored in the reverse fixture from the spot and he scored another two crucial goals last weekend.
If we can avoid giving away a penalty we have a chance of keeping another clean sheet this weekend.
Sunderland have gone six games without a clean sheet.
The Clarets haven't kept a clean sheet since beating Hull 2-0 in October. They have never managed it away from home in the Premier League.
EXPECT GOALS THEN!
Referee: Howard Webb Assistant referees: Darren Cann & Mike Mullarkey Fourth official: Kevin Wright
Sunderland 3 - 1 Burnley If we can play like we do at home we should be easy winners in this game. However, I support Sunderland so things are never taken for granted. The pressure is off for the fans and the players so hopefully we can get the ball down and relax.
Sunderland face Hull City on the road next Saturday
Date:Friday April 16 2010
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