Crystal Palace v Sunderland preview: Black Cats aiming for second win
Last Updated: 24/11/15 7:58am
Sunderland travel to Crystal Palace on Monday Night Football, looking for their second win under new manager Sam Allardyce.
The Black Cats have lost their last two games since victory in the Wear-Tyne derby on October 25, and remain in the relegation zone after a run of one win in 12 matches.
Palace find themselves at the opposite end of the spectrum. The south London club have made their best start to a Premier League campaign with 19 points after 12 games, and they secured four points from recent fixtures against Manchester United and Liverpool before the international break.
Goals have been difficult to come by despite their lofty position, although they face a Sunderland side with the worst defensive record in the Premier League.
Palace chairman Steve Parish is also hopeful the club will soon secure new investment from US businessmen Josh Harris and David Blitzer, which could provide a boost on and off the pitch.
Alan Pardew does not have any fresh injury concerns from the Palace squad that travelled to Liverpool before the international break.
Connor Wickham (calf) and Marouane Chamakh (hamstring) are set to return, but Dwight Gayle (hamstring) remains sidelined.
Allardyce expects his Sunderland squad to be close to full strength as Lee Cattermole (groin) returned to training on Friday, and the midfielder is in contention to feature.
John O'Shea, who played for the Republic of Ireland against Bosnia-Herzegovina, could feature after his recent hamstring injury.
Steven Fletcher has scored three goals in four Premier League appearances against Crystal Palace.
The Black Cats have won just one of their last 15 Premier League games, drawing five and losing nine.
There has been a 90th minute goal scored in three of the four Premier League meetings between the two sides, and a red card in both of the games at Selhurst Park.
Palace have scored the highest proportion of goals from set pieces in the top flight this season (50 per cent).
Sunderland have only ever had fewer points after 12 matches in one of their previous 14 Premier League campaigns (five in 2005-06).
I like Palace more away from home if I'm honest, but Sunderland are not the best of travellers.
Sam Allardyce's face when the Black Cats gave away the penalty a fortnight ago against Southampton was a picture. They work hard in training all week and Yann M'Vila goes and dives in like that.
I'm going to go with Palace after their superb result at Liverpool. I think they'll approach this game differently of course, but they'll open them up enough times to win 2-0, and I can see Scott Dann scoring again!
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (6/1 with Sky Bet)
Sunderland are 5/1 with Sky Bet to upset Crystal Palace (4/7) on Monday Night Football with the draw trading at 3/1. In the last four meetings between these sides there have been 13 goals, 11 of which have been scored in the second half - half with the most goals (second) is even money. Palace have scored eight of these goals and Draw HT/Palace FT is a 3/1 shot. Our Sky Sports tipsters Matt Le Tissier, Charlie Nicholas, Phil Thompson and Jamie Redknapp are unanimous in backing the Eagles to secure another three points.
Watch Crystal Palace v Sunderland on Monday Night Football, 7pm, Sky Sports 1 HD.