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Sunderland can pull off great escape from relegation
26 January 2018, 11:35
Sunderland can pull off great escape from relegation
ATGImages / Shutterstock.com

Sunderland will have the weekend off from the Championship due to this weekend's FA Cup fixtures. The time off will give the club extra time to prepare for its midweek fixture on January 30th against Birmingham. Eighteen matches remain in the Championship season, and Sunderland could pull off a great escape from relegation.

The Black Cats were relegated from the Premier League at the end of last term. Despite starting life in the Championship undefeated from their first three fixtures, Sunderland suffered a massive dip in form right after. The team went three months without a win between August 18th and November 21st. The team endured nine losses during that run.

Since late November, results have improved somewhat. The team have only lost four of their last 10 matches, and have secured all three points in four of those games. It may not sound great, but there is reason to be optimistic. Sunderland have a chance at Championship survival thanks to the poor play of the teams around them.

The Black Cats are third from bottom on 25 points. The team is level with 21st place Hull City, but sit in the relegation zone thanks to an inferior goal difference. Sunderland are on the cusps of survival, but the team need to pick up maximum points in the coming weeks. Tuesday night is a perfect opportunity for Sunderland to get all three points. The team plays Birmingham in a cliched six-point match. Birmingham are also in the relegation zone, and Sunderland can doom their opponents to League One while moving out of the bottom three.

Perhaps the biggest problem in Sunderland's survival push is the team's remaining fixtures. The club plays against seven of its remaining 18 games against teams currently in the top 10. Survival won't be easy, but picking up points against the teams 11th place or lower will be the key to staying up.

Sunderland have got goals this term and the team averages 1.1 strikes per game. Lewis Grabban has tallied 12 goals in 19 games. His goals tally is good for third in the league. Unfortunately for Sunderland, Grabban has tallied 40% of Sunderland's goals. The figure is the highest amongst the top 10 goal scorers in the Championship. Aiden McGeady has tallied five strikes as well, but outside of the duo's 17 goals, only a smattering of players have found the back of the net.

Defence has been a problem for manager Chris Coleman. Sunderland have given up the second most goals in the Championship (47). The team gives up 1.7 goals per match. Defence has been Sunderland's Achilles heel, and it is the reason Grabban's goals haven't counted for more this term.

Sunderland's upcoming fixture list isn't easy. Seven matches will be played against promotion chasing teams. If Sunderland can get points against those teams around them, the club has a chance of surviving year one in the Championship. It all starts on Tuesday night against Birmingham at St. Andrew's.

Predictions for Championship

Home team - Away team Forebet
flag_2 CH
Middlesbrough
Rotherham

23/10/2018 19:45
1
flag_2 CH
Millwall FC
Wigan Athletic

23/10/2018 19:45
2
flag_2 CH
Norwich City
Aston Villa

23/10/2018 19:45
1
flag_2 CH
QPR
Sheffield Wed

23/10/2018 19:45
2

England Championship - predictions, tips, statistics

Featured match

Home team - Away team Forebet
flag_2 CH
Middlesbrough
Rotherham

23/10/2018 19:45
1

Regular Season
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Middlesbrough 25 13 7 4 2 16 7 9
2. Sheffield Utd 25 13 8 1 4 22 15 7
3. West Bromwich 24 13 7 3 3 31 18 13
4. Leeds United 23 13 6 5 2 23 11 12
5. Derby County 21 13 6 3 4 17 14 3
6. Norwich City 21 13 6 3 4 17 16 1
7. Blackburn Rovers 21 13 5 6 2 16 16 0
8. Wigan Athletic 20 13 6 2 5 15 16 -1
9. Nottingham F. 19 13 4 7 2 18 15 3
10. Bristol City 19 13 5 4 4 17 14 3
11. Sheffield Wed 19 13 5 4 4 20 20 0
12. Brentford FC 18 13 4 6 3 20 15 5
13. Aston Villa 18 13 4 6 3 21 20 1
14. Birmingham City 17 13 3 8 2 14 12 2
15. Swansea City 17 13 4 5 4 12 10 2
16. QPR 17 13 5 2 6 11 19 -8
17. Stoke City 16 13 4 4 5 17 19 -2
18. Bolton Wanderers 16 13 4 4 5 11 16 -5
19. Reading FC 12 13 3 3 7 18 21 -3
20. Rotherham 12 13 3 3 7 10 20 -10
21. Preston NE 10 13 2 4 7 19 25 -6
22. Millwall FC 10 13 2 4 7 14 22 -8
23. Hull City 9 13 2 3 8 11 20 -9
24. Ipswich Town 9 13 1 6 6 11 20 -9

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