Premier League preview: Sunderland v Norwich City
By Football News
Sunderland host Norwich City on Sunday in an English Premier League clash that has taken on huge importance for both teams.
Following a scoreless home draw with Southampton, Norwich, 14th on the table, are nine points clear of the relegation zone with nine matches to play.
In 15th place, Sunderland can climb above Norwich with a victory of any kind due to their superior goal difference.
Winless in six games, Sunderland will be desperate for three points as they prepare for gruelling run of fixtures that could determine their Premier League fate.
Manchester United, Chelsea, Newcastle United and Everton follow Sunday's match, though Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet believes his side can defy the odds.
"You can't think about what's coming next if we don't beat Norwich. The most important thing for us is the here and now, which means beating Norwich," he told the Northern Echo.
"It's true we have a lot of the top teams coming up, but in the past we have taken enough points from these teams to not be afraid of them.
"We have to raise our game and, anyway, why can't we win against these top teams? We might even find it easier than playing the teams that are around us."
Norwich have endured a horror run on the road this season, with only one win and 11 goals in 14 games away from home.
Adding to their woes, Chris Hughton's men have taken just one point from their past five away matches, conceding 13 goals in the process.
"We don't see ourselves as safe. Sunderland is a winnable game so hopefully we can look forward to that and get the three points," Norwich goalkeeper Mark Bunn said.
"I think we need a couple more wins and then I think we will be OK. We have got some crucial games coming up."