Preview: Crystal Palace v Sunderland

by Ashley Houghton

We look ahead to Selhurst Park trip.

Sunderland travel to Crystal Palace on Saturday and will hope to build on the final 15 minutes of Tuesday night’s Capital One Cup win over MK Dons.

Paolo Di Canio’s side scored four goals in the closing stages of the game with the Dons – turning round a two-goal deficit to pick up their first win of the campaign.

Palace are still searching for their first victory since returning to the top flight after defeats against Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City.

And, after losing 2-1 to Bristol City in their midweek Capital One Cup tie, the Eagles are yet to pick up a win in competitive action since their return.

Di Canio’s side will be looking to break the Black Cats’ barren run at Selhurst Park which has seen the Wearsiders fail to win in Croydon since 1995 when David Kelly struck the only goal of the game.

The hosts will be buoyed by Marouane Chamakh opening his Eagles account in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Stoke and they’ll hope he can make a difference this weekend.

Kevin Phillips could feature against his former club; the Hitchin-born striker scored 130 goals for the Black Cats in 235 appearances becoming one of the red and white army's favourite sons.

Steven Fletcher returned to the bench on Tuesday evening and the Scottish international will travel south with the squad.

Meanwhile Di Canio may hand a chance to Connor Wickham after the England U21 international scored twice in the win over the Dons.

Saturday’s meeting will be the 41st between the two sides with the Black Cats and the Eagles sharing 14 wins apiece, whilst there have been 12 draws.