Match Previews

A comprehensive look at Sunday's clash with the Black Cats

Sunderland v Cardiff City
Venue: Stadium of Light
Nav-it: SR5 1SU
Date: Sunday, 27th April, KO 12pm
Match-tag:#SUNCAR (Live tweets on @CardiffCityFC)

Cardiff City travel to the northeast and Sunderland to take on Gus Poyet’s Black Cats at Stadium of Light.


-    Connor Wickham has scored three goals in his last two PL appearances after netting just one in his first 37.
-    The Bluebirds are the only team yet to concede an own goal in the Premier League this season.
-    Sunderland, in contrast, have conceded more than any other side in 2013-14 (6).
-    Sunderland have scored as many goals in the past two Premier League games (4) as in their previous eight outings.
-    Cardiff City are the only team in Premier League history (46 teams in total) never to receive a red card.
-    Sunderland have failed to score in five of their last eight Premier League home games.
-    Sunderland have taken only eight points from 15 games against teams currently in the bottom half of the table, 10 fewer than any other side. They have scored just one goal in six home games against the teams currently in the bottom half.

KEY PLAYER: Jack Colback

The industrious midfield duties of Jack Colback are proving to be a vital part of any Black Cats success this season. Making 38 appearances in all competitions, the Sunderland Academy graduate has impressed many this campaign, including some excellent displays in recent matches against Manchester City and Chelsea.

ONE TO WATCH: Connor Wickham

With three goals in his last two games against Manchester City and Chelsea, Wickham has found his Barclays Premier League scoring boots having previously netted just once in 37 appearances for the Black Cats since arriving from Ipswich Town in 2011. Ten goals during an earlier loan spell with Sheffield Wednesday sees the England Under-21 International enjoying his most prolific season of his senior career so far.


Cardiff City: LLDLWD
Last time out: Cardiff City 1-1 Stoke City – Saturday, 19th April, Barclays Premier League.

A penalty a piece from Marko Arnautovic and Peter Whittingham saw this tightly contested game end in a draw at Cardiff City Stadium. Juan Cala had the ball in the net for the Bluebirds in what looked to be the winner, only to see it ruled out for offside. David Marshall was also at hand to deny the Potters late on.

Team - Cardiff City: Marshall, Caulker, Whittingham, Medel, Campbell, Kim (Zaha, 60), Mutch, Cala, Théophile-Catherine, Dæhli (Jones, 81), Fábio (John, 84) Subs Not Used: Lewis, Turner, Eikrem, Gunnarsson.
Sunderland:  LLLLDW
Last time out: Chelsea 1-2 Sunderland – Saturday 19th April, Barclays Premier League.

A late Fabio Borini penalty earned Sunderland an incredible victory at Stamford Bridge, with their 2-1 victory consigning Blues manager Jose Mourinho to his first home Premier League defeat as manager in 78 games.

Team – Sunderland:  Mannone, Brown, O'Shea, Alonso, Vergini, Larsson (Celustka, 89), Johnson (Giaccherini, 66), Cattermole, Colback, Borini, Wickham (Altidore, 66). Subs not used: Scocco, Ba, Ustari, Mavrias.

LAST COMPETITIVE MEETING: 2013/14: Monday, 28th December 2013, Barclays Premier League – Cardiff City 2-2 Sunderland

Cardiff City were denied three points in devastating fashion as Jack Colback pounced in injury time to complete a remarkable comeback by Sunderland at Cardiff City Stadium.

Teams - Cardiff City: Marshall, Caulker (capt), Turner, Whittingham, Medel, Campbell (Cornelius 82), Kim (Gunnarsson 79), Noone (Cowie 72), Mutch, Théophile-Catherine, John. Subs not used: Lewis, Hudson, Odemwingie, Maynard.

Sunderland: Mannone, Bardsley, Dossena, Ki, Larsson (Gardner 74), Altidore, Diakité, Giaccherini, Roberge, Borini (Fletcher 45), Cattermole (C) (Colback 74). Subs not used: Pickford, Cabral, Čelůstka, Ba.

REFEREE: Phil Dowd

Phil Dowd started refereeing at the age of 21 and has enjoyed a lengthy career at the top level of English football since being promoted to the Premier League list in 2001.

Arguably his two biggest honours on the national stage came in major cup finals. Dowd officiated the 2010 League Cup showdown between Manchester United and Aston Villa, then two years later he was in charge as Chelsea defeated Liverpool in the 2012 FA Cup Final. The match came in his 11th consecutive season as a referee in the top flight of English football.

Dowd is a familiar face for the Bluebirds having officiated recent matches against Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur.