Sunderland v Norwich 1st Feb 20:00
Since the takeover of Martin O’Neill at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland have undergone a massive improvement with Betfred making them favourites tonight, as they rise up the Premier League table in a fashion that can only be described as meteoric.
The Black Cats currently boast a better form over the last six games than any of their Premier League opposition with four wins, one draw and one loss.
After bringing in so many new faces over the summer, it was strange to see only two signings made by the North East side this month with Wayne Bridge and Sotirios Kyrgiakos both arriving on six month loan deals on transfer deadline day.
Norwich had an even slower month, signing former Leeds star Jonny Howson and Ryan Bennett from Peterborough.
According to reports, only Bridge and Howson will be eligible to feature in Wednesday’s game which sees the Canaries make the trip to the Stadium of light.
Although Sunderland are undoubtedly the in-form side, Norwich City have proven to be no pushovers in their own right and the Norfolk side are currently enjoying a six match unbeaten streak across all competitions, including a 0-0 draw against Chelsea.
It will be interesting to see if Frazier Campbell earns a spot in O’Neill’s starting line-up after scoring a cool equaliser against Middlesborough over the weekend in what was an emotional return to fitness after 18 months of being sidelined by injury.
Norwich managed to keep hold of Grant Holt yesterday as he was pursued by Rangers but Paul Lambert will now be looking to carry on the second half of the season in the same fashion that he did the first and achieve top flight survival.
Sunderland will have the intention to spoil those plans however and as the North East side haven’t been beaten at home since November, the rising form of stars such as Stephane Sessegnon, James McLean and Craig Gardner will prove very hard to beat.