January 29, 2015

Sunderland will be desperate to claim a much-needed victory as they meet fellow Premier League strugglers Burnley at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

The Black Cats (3-11-8) have dropped within one point of the relegation places after claiming just one win in 12 league matches dating back to early November. Gus Poyet's side suffered their third straight defeat in the Premier League after losing 2-1 at Tottenham Hotspur two weeks ago.

Sunderland captain John O'Shea - who has started and finished all 22 of his club's league matches - is confident the Black Cats can get a positive result against the Clarets, especially with the help of a famously noisy home crowd.

"It's a huge game on Saturday but one we are looking forward to," O'Shea told his club's website. "We will have fantastic support once more at the Stadium of Light and hopefully we can score more goals.

"We need to be more on the front foot at home and hopefully create more chances, because if we do that we can put Burnley under a lot more pressure and hopefully take the three points. We know what Burnley will bring to the table because they have been very organised and they have also scored some fantastic goals."

Burnley (4-8-10) are 17th in the table - one place below Sunderland - trailing the Wearsiders on goal differential.

The Clarets have shown some fight in recent weeks and climbed out of the bottom three after back-to-back draws and a 2-1 home win against Queens Park Rangers on Jan. 10. However, that promising three-match unbeaten run came to an end a fortnight ago after they let a two-goal lead slip away to lose 3-2 at home against Crystal Palace.

Clarets boss Sean Dyche has been working hard to strengthen his squad during the winter transfer window but admits being limited by financial restraints.

"We've had offers in for what you'd call more recognised players that haven't got over the line at the moment, but we'll see where that takes us," he told his club's website. "If you are a club that can constantly throw money at things, it usually gets to happen.

"We're not going for players who are way beyond our league and hoping for the best. We are going for players who we think can fit not just our team, but the finances as well. I must make it clear though that the team does come first."

Burnley have kept just one clean sheet in their 10 away games, a scoreless draw at Palace in mid-September, and taken a total of just seven points on the road.

Sunderland will be without the suspended Jack Rodwell, while Anthony Reveillere is working towards full match fitness following a calf injury. Wes Brown (knee) and Lee Cattermole (groin) are both doubtful starters. Poyet has to decide whether or not to stick with the 3-5-2 formation he has used since striker Jermain Defoe arrived from Major League Soccer side Toronto FC.

Burnley and Sunderland played out a scoreless draw in this season's reverse league fixture at Turf Moor in September. There were 31 shots in total, 17 for Burnley, but nobody was able to find the net. Both sides hit woodwork in the final few minutes.

Sunderland have lost just one of their last 13 matches in all competitions against Burnley, with six wins and six draws.

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