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Premier League preview: West Brom v Sunderland

23 February 2012 16:51

Sunderland will be out to continue their resurgence under Martin O'Neill when they take on West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Under the Northern Irishman, who first took charge in their 2-1 win over Blackburn on December 11, Sunderland have collected 22 of a possible 33 points in the English Premier League.

Now sitting ninth, O'Neill's men have also progressed to the FA Cup quarter-finals after overcoming Arsenal in the fifth round.

Attacker Stephane Sessegnon (seven assists and six goals in the league) has been in excellent form.

With Nicklas Bendtner returning from injury, O'Neill will be forced into a difficult decision as to whether to persist with Sessegnon alone up front or to accommodate the Dane.

O'Neill, whose team travel to meet a West Brom side coming off a 5-1 thrashing of Wolves last time out, said Sessegnon was a match-winner.

"People ask me if he is easy to fit into the team structure. He has got lots of ability, and when he twists and turns, something might happen," he said on Wednesday.

"He has individual quality, and all the best teams have individuals who can turn games. It is nice to have one of those players in our team."

Roy Hodgson's West Brom have struggled at the Hawthorns throughout the campaign, and should avoid a major relegation tussle if they can start winning at home.

In 12 league matches at home this season, West Brom have lost eight times and netted only nine goals.

Nigerian forward Peter Odemwingie has been a bright spot with seven league goals, and his contributions have helped WBA into 14th spot - eight points clear of 18th-placed Wolves.

Paul Scharner is a major fitness doubt with a chest injury, but in positive news for Hodgson - captain Chris Brunt is almost fully fit.

Hungarian midfielder Zoltan Gera remains hopeful he will return before the end of the season after undergoing knee surgery.

Sunderland will be without defender Titus Bramble (Achilles) after he was ruled out for at least another month, while Wes Brown remains sidelined.

With O'Neill inspiring a Sunderland revival, West Brom will need to be at their best if they are to improve their poor home record.

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Info

Competition
Premier League
Date
25 February 2012
Game week
26
Kick-off
16:00
Half-time
2 - 0
Full-time
4 - 0
Venue
The Hawthorns (West Bromwich)
Attendance
25311

Goals

P. Odemwingie 3'
(assist by Y. Mulumbu) 
1 - 0
J. Morrison 41'
(assist by J. Thomas) 
2 - 0
P. Odemwingie 49'
(assist by M. Fortuné) 
3 - 0
K. Andrews 90'+1
(assist by G. Dorrans) 
4 - 0

Lineups

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
17 74'
20
9
5
13
25
31
# Player Bookings
9
52
3
12
18
20
25

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Saturday 30 August

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Friday 29 August

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01:00

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