Sunderland v Burnley
Saturday March 18, 15:00 GMT
It really has been a torrid campaign for David Moyes and his Sunderland players. They sit rock bottom of the Premier League, three points adrift of Middlesbrough above them and six points from safety.
They come into this game on the back of three straight defeats - all without scoring a goal. The most frustrating thing for Moyes will be that those results came after a decent draw against Spurs and a thumping 4-0 win at Crystal Palace.
If the Black Cats are going to survive then Jermain Defoe will almost certainly be the man to save them. The veteran striker was re-called to the England squad this week and maybe that will put a spring back in his step following a quiet few weeks.
The Clarets have earned plenty of plaudits this season and rightly so. They are 12th in the table with 31 points, so it's highly unlikely that they'll be sucked into a relegation battle. A note of caution though, 29 of their 31 points have come at Turf Moor, and they were beaten again last weekend - albeit at Anfield.
Sean Dyche's side haven't won a game since a 1-0 victory over Leicester back in January and since then they've lost three times in the league, drawn twice and been knocked out of the FA Cup by non-league Lincoln.
They did play well against Liverpool last Sunday but they were still beaten and they were well suited against Liverpool's style of play. It will be a completely different game at the Stadium of Light and Andre Gray won't get as much room on the break.
Sunderland [2.6] Burnley [3.1] The Draw [3.35]
I have to side with the hosts at the prices. History tells us that this is the time of year when Sunderland start getting their act together and they have come back from more perilous positions than this.
The obvious concern is that they haven't won in front of their own fans since the middle of December but they are taking on the team with by far and away the worst away record in the division, and this is an absolute must-win for Sunderland.
I have little faith in Burnley away from Turf Moor as while they do score a few goals, they concede far too many. They've conceded more than one in 11 of their 14 fixtures on the road this term and the fact that they will be a bit more attacking than usual against a team like Sunderland, may just open them up more.
Over/Under 2.5 Goals
Over 2.5 Goals [2.14] Under 2.5 Goals [1.85]
The market is siding with the under but I don't agree with that. Times are desperate for Sunderland and there is a strong trend for goal-fests at this time of the season for struggling clubs.
As mentioned above, Burnley aren't strangers to scoring goals on their travels - they've scored at least once in their last seven matches - and as six of those ended in defeat, it tells you all you need to know about their defensive record.
The Black Cats have been struggling to find the net but they've certainly been accommodating at the other end. They've shipped eight in three and nine in four at home.
I'm going to be bold and skip over 2.5 and go all the way up to over 4.5 goals. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't put anyone off from backing the former, but the latter is a massive [9.0] and it wouldn't be a surprise to me if the ball was in the net five times.
Jermain Defoe has scored in his last two Premier League appearances against Burnley. He is around the [4.8] mark to break the deadlock on Saturday.
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