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Sunderland vs West Brom – Match Preview

Last Saturday saw Sunderland snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as they conspired to throw away a 2-0 lead at home to Crystal Palace and end up losing 3-2 thanks to a last minute Christian Benteke header. That defeat sees Sunderland sit bottom of the table and you can’t see them getting off the position any time soon.

It looked for a large part of the afternoon as if Sunderland were going to get their first win of the season when they went 2-0 up thanks to Jermain Defoe brace. But David Moyes is still searching for that all elusive inaugural victory after losing the game in the cruelest of circumstances.

As soon as Palace got back into the game thanks to a deflected Joe Ledley strike you could just see the confidence drain from the Sunderland players and once they had thrown away the chance of winning then you always felt that Palace could go on and win the game and that is exactly what they did.

As soon as Benteke’s header hit the net, swathes of fans left for the exits while the ones that stayed let their feelings known as the players walked off to a chorus of boos. It wouldn’t have helped matters or confidence levels afterwards when Moyes blamed the players for the defeat.

Yes the players do have to take a large portion of blame for that defeat but the manager also has to take responsibility in this instance. Moyes just doesn’t look like a man who can spark up his team and when they were under pressure both he and the side buckled in the worst possible way.

They will look to rectify that with the visit of West Brom this afternoon as Tony Pulis’s side arrive having been unbeaten in their last two matches. After a demolition job of West Ham a fortnight ago they added to that with a draw against Stoke last Saturday.

Stoke thought they had their first win of the season but a late equaliser for The Baggies saw Pulis leave his old stomping groud with a point. Those two results have eased the pressure on Pulis slightly in regards to his employment status at The Hawthorns and he can look to give himself more breathing space this afternoon with a win at The Stadium of Light.

Whether he can get that win though I’m not too sure. This game could be all important for Sunderland as if they can’t bounce back from that limp defeat last Saturday then they are surely done for in regards to staying up this season. They need to show that they have something about them and earn at least a point.

I think it will be honours even today because surely Sunderland can’t make the same mistakes twice in a row, if David Moyes can’t charge his side up for what is still a winnable game then you have to ask yourselves what exactly is he doing. I’ll go for a draw only because I don’t think West Brom quite have the quality to kill them off.

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