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Preview: Sunderland vs. Stoke City

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League game between Sunderland and Stoke City.

Sunderland have the chance to draw level on points with Stoke City when the two sides meet at the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon.

The Black Cats have quickly become the Premier League's draw specialists this season, and their inability to turn decent performances into victories is starting to be a problem for Gus Poyet.

A lack of goals is certainly a concern for the Uruguayan, who has seen his side find the back of the net just five times in six league fixtures.

All of that means they head into the meeting with the Potters still searching for a first victory, but they will meet a team boosted by their most recent display.

Stoke returned to winning form on Monday night by taking advantage of Newcastle United's problems to earn a 2-1 victory, and they will take confidence from their triumph over Sunderland in the League Cup last month.

However, Mark Hughes could be without Mame Biram Diouf after he limped out of the game against the Magpies, with Marko Arnautovic expected to be handed a start.

Recent form

Sunderland: DDLDDD


Possible starting lineups

Sunderland: Mannone, Jones, van Aanholt, Vergini, O'Shea, Larsson, Rodwell, Cattermole, Johnson, Fletcher, Wickham

Stoke: Begovic, Bardsley, Shawcross, Wilson, Muniesa, Whelan, Nzonzi, Arnautovic, Adam, Moses, Crouch

Sports Mole says: 1-1

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Ahmed Elmohamady of Hull City challenges Marko Arnautovic of Stoke City during the Barclays Premier League match on March 29, 2014
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Hughes thrilled by Arnautovic display

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