It's that time again: Sunderland at the Stadium of Light

Apart from Stephen Ireland talking about progress at Aston Villa and Stiliyan Petrov talking about the amount of work they are putting into fitness training, there is little else going on at the moment, so we are going to look at Sunderland on Saturday.

They are managed by Steve Bruce, a former ringmaster, quite a decent defender in his day and as a manager likes his teams to play with a bit of fight and determination.

Sunderland also have a bit of quality in their side too. Not much admittedly, but some and it is always the some that is dangerous and they have to be looked out for. But getting results has been a problem for Sunderland this season.

After eight games they have only won once but drawn six times, which suggests they are struggling to finish games off. You'll also have figured out that having played eight, winning once and drawing six times that they have only lost once and at home they are quite difficult to break down, having not lost and along the way only letting three in.

You gotta roll with it

But things are going okay for us at the moment and I actually think things are going to gradually improve on an ongoing basis. The previous manager was all about commitment and doing what you had to do and had you wondered what actually went on during the week at Bodymoor, you wouldn't have been alone.

The current manager appears to be different and it does appear that things are getting worked on and while it really is too early to say either way, the initial signs are positive.

My point is, if we play with the fight and determination that we know the players are capable of and they put in that little bit extra, that we have already seen this season, under Kevin MacDonald and Mr Houllier, then we are well within our rights in thinking that we can win this match and leave the wet, cold and windy North East with three points.

Prediction and odds

I'm feeling confident, as you can probably tell, but whatever the result, I'm still going to be feeling that confidence at 5pm on Saturday, as it is so much more than one football match, but that confidence overflows into this match and I really do think we can win.

You'll get 11.5 at the moment on us too, which is a fantastic price all things considered and with some of my winnings from last night (I had Barcelona, Manchester United, Inter Milan, Schalke 04 and Lyon to win in an accumulator). I'm going to have some of that.

I might also keep faith in Ashley Young to score during the ninety minutes. I fancy he is working on his free kicks in training and all he needs is one or two in a game in a good enough position and we know he can hit the target. He is also not that bad in open play too.

Odds for Sunderland match below. Click a link to get that price at that bookmaker. A little more about the odds and bookmakers on this site here.

Video of the day

I love this song. Saw James at Wembley when they did a show with a few other bands and Happy Mondays headlined, years and years ago. Went out and bought the album the next day. So here we go. {rokbox title=|James :: Sit down| text=|Click here to watch.|size=|960 745| album=|demo|}{/rokbox}