Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has warned Sunderland that they must improve on their travels in order to progress into the top half this season. How will he turn around our awful away day blues in the Premier league? Will he adapt a new style? New formation? Select different players to play different roles? Whatever he decides, only time will tell, but what a place to start the new campaign at newly promoted WBA after a 6-0 loss on their opening game.
Vital Quotes: Steed Malbranque
‘It will be a very difficult game.
‘Maybe a lot of people will say that it will be easy, but we know it won’t – it might be one of our more difficult away games of the campaign, given the situation.
‘West Brom lost heavily at Chelsea last week and they will want to put that right against us, so we have to make sure we do not give them anything.
‘But we have something to prove ourselves.
‘We played well in our first game against Birmingham last week and should have won after going 2-0 up but ended up with a draw, so we want to make up for that.’
WBA Team News:
West Brom will be without Ishmael Miller and Joe Mattock as they both got injured in training.
Player to watch: Chris Brunt
He scored against Sunderland last time we lost on the road against WBA a few seasons ago?
He is the cog in their midfield that can get things moving and can cause a lot of problems for the defence. If we can manage to keep him quiet we have a bigger chance of picking up all three points on Saturday.
Sunderland Team News:
Sunderland are without John Mensah for 3 weeks after tearing his hamstring in mid challenge against Birmingham. Cattermole and Turner are both out through suspensions so Bruce has a few choices to make.
He may move Onuoha into the middle alongside Bramble and play Bardsley right back.
Player to watch: Henderson
Jordan Henderson ran the complete game for Sunderland last weekend and looks to be growing in skill and confidence every game for his local club. He needs to continue this early season form and he could become one of our most important players in the past decade.
Match Facts & Stats
Sunderland lost all three away matches against promoted clubs last season.
This is West Brom’s fifth season in the Premier League. They have never finished higher than 17th.
If selected, Chris Brunt will make his 250th career league appearance.
Referee: Kevin Friend
Assistant referees: Peter Kirkup & Adam Watts
Fourth official: Pat Miller
WBA 1 – 1 Sunderland
Sadly our away day form will not change over night and with some important players still missing we may struggle to beat WBA tomorrow.
If we can maintain the same standards as the opening 45 minutes last weekend we may have enough to win the game but we also have to make sure we keep a clean sheet.
Hard one to predict so I will be happy with a point and remain unbeaten.
Next Fixtures: Colchester (H) Carling Cup
Sunderland face Colchester in the 2nd round of the Carling Cup on Wednesday 25th.