Sunderland vs Leicester City: Preview and Prediction


Sunderland vs Leicester City. While this fixture may not have caught the eye at the start of the season, it’s implications for both clubs has made it the stand-out match of this weekend.

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It has been a season of disappointment for both clubs, whose ambitions lay more towards mid-table security.

Leicester began as they finished the last, showing impressive quality for a newly promoted side with an attacking style of play that earned huge admiration and attention after their thrilling 5-3 win vs Manchester United.

Unfortunately this didn’t last with the side having spent much of the season at the foot of the table due to results not matching performances. Many of these matches it could be argued that the Foxes deserved more.

However, a remarkable six wins in their last seven matches has provided the Foxes with huge optimism of survival. The club now sit with a three point gap above the relegation zone with two games remaining against Sunderland and the already relegated QPR.

Sunderland’s new manager Dick Advocaat has proven to be a surprise success, boasting three wins in their last five matches and has taken the Black Cats two points above 18th placed Hull City.

If Hull City were to lose away at Tottenham Hotspur, a win for Sunderland would be enough to mathematically secure safety, while Leicester would just need a draw to secure a second season in the English top flight.

Team news:

Sunderland are expected to be without midfielders Ricardo Alvarez and Emanuele Giaccherini. John O’Shea and Jack Rodwell are also big doubts for the game.

Leicester have ruled out the availability of Matty James who is out with a long-term injury, while strikers Leonardo Ulloa and David Nugent are both minor doubts.

Key players:

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Sunderland will be hopeful goalkeeper Costel Pantililmon will continue his fine form with upcoming away games against Arsenal and Chelsea.

The poacher instincts of Jermain Defoe will also be a threat that Leicester’s defence will need to keep mindful of after he scored his fourth goal in Sunderland colours last week since arriving in January.

It’s incredibly difficult to provide a single key player for Leicester as the team’s overall performances have been instrumental in the recent form.

However the stability Robert Huth has added in defence, the creative vision of Esteban Cambiasso in midfield, and the tireless work-rate of Jamie Vardy up front, has been very much the spine that has been so effective in recent weeks.

Last five league meetings:

Sat 22 Nov 2014 Leicester City 0 – 0 Sunderland
Mon 01 Jan 2007 Leicester City 0 – 2 Sunderland
Sat 16 Sep 2006 Sunderland 1 – 1 Leicester City
Sat 23 Apr 2005 Sunderland 2 – 1 Leicester City
Sat 13 Nov 2004 Leicester City 0 – 1 Sunderland

Match prediction:

Such is the potential outcomes that may come as a result of a Hull defeat, I expect this to be a tight game with plenty of caution displayed by both sides. The main priority will be not to lose, and a point apiece would be a good result for both teams.

As a Leicester fan I’m feeling nervous but optimistic we can get something out of the game. I just hope it doesn’t go to the last game of the season!

Sunderland — 1, Leicester City — 1

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