Sunderland have played all of last seasons top 10 and came away unbeaten. That is a record any club will be proud of making.
The problem for Steve Bruce and Sunderland is making sure we can do this against the trickier opponents, such as Wolves.
Bruce has been dealt a massive blow by losing Bramble until Christmas and Turner until February but he will call upon his strength in depth to cope with this cruel hand.
Wolves have been playing well but not picking up the points and now find themselves in the bottom three and 4 points from safety.
Mick McCarthy will have his team pumped up for this game and Sunderland will need to be careful to avoid any complacency.
Vital Quotes: Lee Cattermole
Captain Catts said:
“We know if we go to Wolves and think we can turn them over and come away with three points, it`s not going to happen,” he said.
“We`ll end up with egg on our face and come away losing two or 3-0.
“We`ve got to pay them respect.
“They`re a decent team, they`re in the Premier League so we need to keep going. They haven`t started the season well and they`ve had a tough run.
“But every team goes through that. We know we`ll need to work hard.”
“We went to Chelsea and played with confidence.
“They put their team up before the game and we read there were a few players missing.
“We fancied our chances and it proved to be after a good start. I think we`re developing into a decent team and we just need to keep going.
“Hopefully then we can finish in the top 10.”
Wolves Team News:
Wolves are also struggling with injuries amongst their squad.
Henry will miss up to two months with a medial knee ligament injury.
Wolves will also be without Berra and Mouyokolo with a suspension and back injury respectively.
Foley and Fletcher will also face late fitness tests.
Player to watch: Kevin Doyle
Always a player I have rated and seems to be doing well for Wolves in this tricky season for McCarthy’s team.
He will be boosted by our defensive injury situation and whoever is marking him will have a tough afternoon.
Sunderland Team News:
Sunderland were looking good after the battling point against Everton and then the injuries all happened at once it seemed.
Bramble needed knee surgery and Michael Turner also hurt his knee when he cleared a goal off the line and met the post in the process.
Bruce could take a gamble and play Mensah but it will be interesting who else he plays in the centre.
Good news is that Bent, Welbeck and Gyan are all available for this game on Saturday.
Player to watch: Welbeck
Three goals in his last two Premiership appearances and his value is rising by each game.
He was sublime against Chelsea and really works hard for his adopted team. Let’s all hope his form rubs off on to Bent and Gyan and continue our great form at present.
Match Facts & Stats
Wolves have lost nine of their last 11 league matches. Their only victory in the last 13 was 2-1 at home to Manchester City on 30 October.
Sunderland have now played every member of last season’s top 10 in the Premier League and have not lost to any of them.
SAFC have lost only one of their last 12 league games.
Referee: Mike Jones
Assistant referees: Darren Cann & Dave Bryan
Fourth official: Anthony Taylor
Wolves 1 – 2 Sunderland
I am hopeful that our good form can continue as we approach a run of games against lower placed oppositon.
If we can get a good partnership in defence and keep tidy in the opening stages we have enough firepower to win this game.
Next Fixtures: West Ham (H)
Sunderland face basement club West Ham next weekend at home.