Sunderland v Cardiff. Match preview

Last updated : 23 September 2017 By Michael Morris

Sunderland boss Simon Grayson could welcome back defensive reinforcements as he looks to end a six-game run without a Sky Bet Championship victory against high-flying Cardiff.

Marc Wilson (groin) and John O'Shea (calf) are closing in on returns, while loan signings Brendan Galloway and Tyias Browning could be options having been ineligible for Wednesday night's Carabao Cup trip to parent club Everton. In addition, midfielder Aiden McGeady is close to being available after shaking off a hamstring problem and strikers Duncan Watmore and Josh Maja are both working their way back from knee injuries.

Grayson made six changes for the 3-0 defeat at Goodison Park and Robin Ruiter, Wilson, Bryan Oviedo, Lee Cattermole, Callum McManaman and Jonny Williams could all return with the Black Cats desperate to improve on a return of just two points from the last 18 they have contested.

Cardiff boss Neil Warnock could freshen up his attack as the Bluebirds look for a first win since the end of August. Liam Feeney, a deadline day signing from Blackburn, Danny Ward and Lee Tomlin all impressed when coming off the bench against Sheffield Wednesday last weekend, with defender Sol Bamba netting a stoppage-time equaliser.

Midfielder Craig Bryson will be hoping to retain his place after being drafted back into the side against the Owls, but Danish forward Kenneth Zohore could be taken out of the frontline after failing to score since Cardiff's win at Burton in their opening game. Scottish defender Callum Paterson continues to build up his fitness following knee surgery as the summer signing from Hearts closes in on first-team contention.


Opta stats

The Black Cats have won four of their last six league meetings with Cardiff (D1 L1) most recently a 4-0 win in the Premier League in April 2014.

This is the first Championship meeting at the Stadium of Light between the sides since October 2006, which Cardiff won 2-1 thanks to a brace from Michael Chopra.

Simon Grayson has ended on the winning side once in 12 previous managerial meetings against Cardiff (D3 L8), a 3-0 win for his Preston side last season.

Kenneth Zohore has had more shots (31) and shots on target (12) than any other player in the Championship this season. Despite this, he has found the net just once.

The Black Cats are currently enduring their second longest home winless league run in their entire history (14 games). Their worst run came between August 2005 and May 2006, when they went 18 games at the Stadium of Light without winning.

Cardiff have won three points from goals scored in the last five minutes of Championship games this season, more than any other side.