2014/15 Premier League Season Review: Sunderland

Premier League Final Position: 16th

Review

It was another disappointing season for Sunderland as they only just escaped relegation once again, ending the season just three points off the drop zone. Dick Advocaat arrived at the club in March and helped them avoid relegation but the hunt for a new manager now goes on as the Black Cats look for a long-term solution to their relentless relegation threats.

Staying up is clearly a positive but supporters will be worried by the fact they only won seven games, which is fewer than Hull and QPR who both went down. They only scored 31 goals too – the second lowest number in the top flight so there’s lots of room for improvement once more.

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Podcast Review

Best Moment

A 1-0 win against arch rivals Newcastle in Dick Advocaat’s first home game in April was a real boost for supporters after a run of seven games without victory.

Worst Moment

The embarrassing 8-0 loss at Southampton in October is undoubtedly the worst moment of the Black Cats’ season. They were thumped on the day and offered almost no fight, letting their club and fans down.

Player of the Year

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Patrick Van Aanholt – The Dutch left-back impressed in his first season at the club and was one of few players to consistently perform at a high level. He will look to pick up where he left on when the new season starts in March.

Biggest Win

Sunderland 3-1 Stoke (October 4, 2014)

Crystal Palace 1-3 Sunderland (November 3, 2014)

Sunderland 2-0 Burnley (January 31, 2015)

Everton 0-2 Sunderland (May 9,2015)

Biggest Defeat

Southampton 8-0 Sunderland (October 18, 2014)

What to improve for the 2015 season…

Appointing the right manager will be the start, though that’s easier said than done. A strong transfer window is a must and then on the field, scoring more goals and improving home form must take place. Sunderland scored the second fewest goals in the Premier League this year and had the second worst home form. A lot to improve but it must change for the better or they will be in trouble again.

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Arsenal vs Sunderland

Competition: Premier League – Arsenal vs. Sunderland

Venue: Emirates Stadium – Wednesday, May 20th – 19:45 BST (14:45 ET)

Match Odds: Arsenal 2/7 – Draw 9/2 – Sunderland 9/1

Match Preview

Arsenal welcome Sunderland to the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night for the penultimate game of the Premier League season with both sides in need of just one more point to secure very different objectives.

The Gunners are in search of one more point to ensure they finish in third place above Manchester United and avoid the Champions League qualification playoff game, while a point for Sunderland will guarantee their top flight status for another season.

Theo Walcott‘s deflected cross off Tyler Blackett rescued a vital point for Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday and kept them two points clear of fourth-placed Manchester United coming into this game-in-hand.

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Arsenal’s fantastic run of eight straight wins has been halted by a run of four games with just one victory (D2, L1), although Arsene Wenger has still done enough to guide his side to a Champions League finish for the 17th consecutive season.

The Gunners have won all but one of their home games against sides in the bottom 11 of the Premier League table this season – a 2-2 draw with Hull City back in October being the only points they’ve dropped against the lower league teams at home.

Sunderland arrive in London having lost just one of their last six games (W3, D2) and their 0-0 draw at home to Leicester last weekend extended their current mini-unbeaten run to four games.

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Despite the good run, Dick Advocaat will know there is still work to do and the final two games are away at Arsenal and Chelsea, so they may be relying on Hull City failing to win against Manchester United on the final day in order for them to survive.

Arsenal won the reverse fixture 2-0 at the Stadium of Light thanks to two goals from Alexis Sanchez and have won the last four meeting between the two sides.

Team News

Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny will face a late assessment as he is suffering with the flu, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Danny Welbeck, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Debuchy are all unavailable because of injury.

Sunderland will be without the injured Billy Jones, Jordi Gomez, Wes Brown, Jack Rodwell and Ricardo Alvarez.

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Key Points

Arsenal’s last five: W/D/W/L/D

Sunderland’s last five: L/D/W/W/D

Key Stat: Sunderland haven’t won away at Arsenal in the league since November 1983 when they beat the Gunners 2-1 at Highbury.

Key Player: Aaron Ramsey – The Welshman doesn’t stop running and his work-rate can’t be faulted even though he’s playing out of position on the right side of midfield.

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Score Prediction

Arsenal 2-1 Sunderland – The Gunners’ home advantage will help them just edge past the Black Cats who will go into the final day with it all to play for.