Swansea City-Sunderland Preview
Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat is facing serious early season pressure ahead of Saturday's home match against Swansea City.
The Black Cats lost their opening two Premier League games and looked completely out-of-sorts in both matches.
After suffering a 4-2 defeat at Leicester City to open the season, Sunderland crashed to a 3-1 home defeat last weekend against newly promoted Norwich City.
The Black Cats were three goals down against the Canaries after an hour, and the only positive was a late consolation goal by winger Duncan Watmore on his Sunderland debut.
Despite those back-to-back defeats, defender Billy Jones believes Sunderland can get their campaign up and running by beating Swansea at the Stadium of Light.
"The only way we can kick start it (our season) is by winning games and we've got a massive chance to do that against Swansea," Jones told his club's official website. "Obviously everyone knows what a good team Swansea are so that'll be a statement in itself to beat them on our home turf and beat them with a good performance.
"We know it's going to be a really tough game but we've got another week to work hard on the training, so hopefully we can put in a better performance on Saturday which gets us the three points"
Swansea have made a confident start with a 2-2 draw at defending Premier League champions Chelsea on the opening weekend, followed by a 2-0 home win against 10-man Newcastle United.
Magpies defender Daryl Janmaat was sent off shortly before halftime for persistently fouling Jefferson Montero.
Bafetimbi Gomis and Andre Ayew, who both tallied against Chelsea, again accounted for Swansea's goals.
The Swans could have beaten Newcastle by a bigger margin - both Montero and Gylfi Sigurdsson had long-range shots hit the woodwork and rebound to safety.
"We were excellent," Monk told his club's official website. "It was a confident performance, we dominated from start to finish, kept a clean sheet and it was a convincing win in the end.
"We showed our maturity when they went down to 10 men. We didn't force the issue and tried to take the openings when they came. I am pleased with the performance. Everyone contributed and performed today, and backed up our good performance at Chelsea.
Sunderland will be without midfielder Adam Johnson, who is ruled out for another seven weeks with a shoulder injury. Advocaat is likely to ring the changes in an attempt to get his struggling side back on track.
Swansea midfielder Ki Sung-yueng has resumed training after recovering from a hamstring problem and should feature at some stage against the Black Cats.
Both league matches between the two sides last season ended in draws. It finished goalless at the Stadium of Light in September and 1-1 at the Liberty Stadium in February. Jermain Defoe gave the Black Cats a halftime lead in Wales, before Ki netted the equaliser on 66 minutes.
Sunderland are winless in six straight league matches against Swansea, going 0-4-2.
The sides have drawn more than half of their Premier League meetings, sharing points in five of their eight matches. The Swans have two wins, doing the double in 2013-14, while the Black Cats posted their lone victory in 2012.
Swansea have outscored Sunderland 10-6 in those eight games.