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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

Stoke: LDWLDW

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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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Hull City412471071323979
2Peterborough UnitedPeterborough402371070383276
3Sunderland391914660312971
4Blackpool3818101052351764
5Portsmouth391971357421564
6Lincoln CityLincoln381891157421563
7Charlton AthleticCharlton391711115751662
8Ipswich TownIpswich39179134138360
9Oxford UnitedOxford Utd401781559481159
10Gillingham41178165654259
11Doncaster RoversDoncaster38176155552357
12Accrington StanleyAccrington39169145257-557
13Fleetwood TownFleetwood4015111443331056
14MK Dons401510155554155
15Crewe AlexandraCrewe39159154754-754
16Plymouth ArgylePlymouth411410175066-1652
17Shrewsbury TownShrewsbury381214124342150
18Burton Albion39139175063-1348
19Northampton TownNorthampton411010213458-2440
20AFC Wimbledon39912184162-2139
21Wigan AthleticWigan40108224367-2438
22Bristol Rovers41108234064-2438
23Swindon TownSwindon40114254572-2737
24Rochdale39712204770-2333

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