The Bluebirds are just one point above the Black Cats in the table ahead of the clash at the Stadium of Light, and Solskjaer admits that it is a game they must win.
"Next weekend it is a proper cup final," Sky Sports quotes him as saying. "If you talk about league games that mean the same for both teams, then that is us and Sunderland. Next weekend will be the same mental test for both.
"It is a massive game for us, and we will prepare as if it is the last game we will ever play.
"I think we will probably have to have five more points to give us a chance. I don't think 34 points will be enough, 35 might be enough, and 36, I think, will be enough."
Cardiff came from behind to claim a 1-1 draw against Stoke City at the weekend.