Sunderland will aim to extend their unbeaten streak to six Championship matches when Cardiff City visit the Stadium of Light on Sunday.
- Sunderland have taken 13 points from their previous five games
- Cardiff have also won four of their last five matches in all competitions
- No team has scored more Championship goals than Sunderland this season
Sunday’s showdown on Tyneside looks set to be an intriguing battle between two upwardly mobile teams. Fourth-placed Sunderland lead tenth-placed Cardiff by three points in the table, but the Bluebirds will fancy their chances of frustrating the Black Cats.
It would not be unfair to say that Sunderland made a disappointing start to the season, suffering successive 2-1 defeats against Ipswich Town and Preston North End. Since then, however, Tony Mowbray’s men have picked up four wins and one draw in the league.
The Black Cats head into Sunday’s clash on a three-game winning streak, with a 5-0 thrashing of Southampton preceding 3-1 victories over Queens Park Rangers and Blackburn Rovers. Consequently, Sunderland boast the joint-best offensive record in the division.
Cardiff City Form
Like Sunderland, Cardiff endured a slow start to the campaign, taking one point from their opening three matches. However, the Bluebirds have since taken nine points from a possible 12, dispatching Sheffield Wednesday, Swansea City and Coventry City in the process.
Erol Bulut’s men showed great spirit and determination to claim a 3-2 victory over Coventry last weekend, even though the Sky Blues enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in Wales. Following that triumph, only the top five teams have notched more wins than Cardiff this term.
Cardiff have won three of their last four Championship meetings with Sunderland, scoring seven goals while keeping two clean sheets. Across the previous nine encounters, however, both sides have registered four victories.
Sunderland’s extensive injury list contains Ajibola Alese, Dennis Cirkin, Pierre Ekwah, Corry Evans and Jay Matete, while Nazariy Rusyn remains absent due to personal reasons.
Cardiff, on the other hand, are currently without Nottingham Forest loanee Josh Bowler, who has missed the past five games with a calf injury. Plus, Callum O’Dowda remains sidelined due to a leg issue.
Jack Clarke has been Sunderland’s standout performer during the opening weeks of the season, netting five goals in seven league appearances, while Abdoullah Ba and Bradley Dack have both contributed a goal and an assist this term.
Cardiff have shared the goals around this season, with Ike Ugbo, Kion Etete and Aaron Ramsey each finding the back of the net on three occasions. On top of that, Ryan Wintle and Rubin Colwill have both bagged two goals and one assist in 2023-24.
Sunday’s clash promises to be a close-fought battle between two in-form teams. Although Sunderland are favored to claim all three points on home soil, Cardiff are expected to give the Black Cats a run for their money, meaning both sides will likely be happy to settle for a point.