Date:Friday February 1 2013
SUNDERLAND face a trip to resurgent Reading this Saturday as they look to build on a point against Swansea City in midweek.
After a slow start to life in the top-flight and a worrying seven-game losing streak through November and December, the Royals look to have come out the other side and have given themselves a real chance of staying up.
"It will be a difficult game. Reading coming back from 2-0 down [against Chelsea in midweek] shows what great character they`ve got.
"We expect to face a good team but we are going there to win.
"I`m glad to get going straight away, training with the boys and then travelling for that first game.'
Jason Roberts (hip) & Alex McCarthy (shoulder) are both out. Striker Noel Hunt is a doubt with a knock.
Federici; Kelly, Pearce, Mariappa, Harte; Leigertwood, Guthrie; Kebe, Karacan, McAnuff (c); Pogrebnyak.
Central to their recent upsurge in form is former Stockport County, Rochdale and Rotherham United hot-shot, Adam le Fondre.
The 26 year-old has struck late in each of the Royals' last three league games to help rescue seven points during those games.
Snapped up last summer from League Two Rotherham, the forward has been far from a regular starter, making just 25 league starts in his season-and-a-half at the Mad Stad.
However, an envious record of 22 league goals in those games (plus a further 29 substitute appearances) make him something of a 'super-sub' for boss, Brian McDermott.
Former Arsenal midfielder McDermott, now in his third full season as Royals' boss, has today (Friday) tipped the Stockport-born poacher for an England call-up after his 12 top-flight goals from 24 appearances this term.
Wes Brown (knee), Lee Cattermole (knee), Carlos Cuellar (knee) and Danny Rose (knee) are all sidelined.
New-boy Danny Graham will start his Sunderland career from the bench in all likelihood.
Mignolet; Gardner, O`Shea (c), Bramble, Colback; Larsson, N`Diaye, Vaughan, Johnson; Sessegnon; Fletcher.
The club's £5m Transfer Deadline Day capture will likely start his Black Cats' career from the bench with Steven Fletcher preferred up front.
However, the 27 year-old Gateshead-born goal-getter will be keen to get off on the right foot with the Sunderland supporters owing to his Geordie roots.
- Still precariously perched in 17th, the Berkshire outfit have won five of their last eight in the Barclays Premier League and F.A Cup, losing just once in that sequence.
- Late goals in each of their last three top-flight outings have helped them maintain upwards momentum, the result of which is renewed vigour with which to attack the final third of the season.
Mr L Mason Refereed: 20 games Bookings: 72 Red cards: 0 (One of only two elite-group officials to not have sent anyone off!)
A tough game against a side bang in form, but a 2-1 win for the Lads no less.
A visit from Arsenal next weekend.
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Date:Friday February 1 2013
Sunderland Play Hosts To The Potters In Rd 3 (Thursday August 28 2014)
Alvarez, van Dijk.... (Thursday August 28 2014)
Poyet On Sunderland Win At Birmingham (Thursday August 28 2014)
Stats: Birmingham v Sunderland (Thursday August 28 2014)
Team News For Tonight's Game At Birmingham (Wednesday August 27 2014)
Poyet Wants Cup Win To Boost League Games. (Wednesday August 27 2014)
Black Cats Take On Birmingham City (Wednesday August 27 2014)
Trio On Their Way By Deadline Day. (Tuesday August 26 2014)
Brum Boss Expecting A Win Against Black Cats (Tuesday August 26 2014)
No Shortage Of Interest In Diakite. (Tuesday August 26 2014)
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