1) Sunderland currently sit in 14th place in the Premier League table, with 20 points from 19 games leaving them four points clear of the final relegation place. Amazingly, the Wearside club have secured 11 draws this season, the highest in the division - four more than closest rivals Hull City - and they are on track to beat the record for most draws in a 38-game Premier League campaign. Should they continue at their current rate, 22 draws in one season would beat the current record set by Newcastle in the 2003/04 season and Aston Villa in the 2006/07 and 2011/12 seasons.
2) Most of these draws have been thanks to a strong defence and no real goalscoring threat, meaning that the Black Cats’ six 0-0 draws registered this campaign is already a club record in the Premier League era.
3) Gus Poyet’s side are currently the team who have suffered the biggest defeat of the Premier League season, when they lost 8-0 away at high-flying Southampton. The result was so poor that the players in the Black Cats squad offered to refund any fans who had travelled from the North East to the South Coast to watch the game.
4) However, since that defeat, Sunderland have conceded just one goal in five Premier League away games, which came in the 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace in the away game immediately following the Southampton defeat. If the eight goals conceded in the Southampton game were taken out of the equation, the Black Cats would have conceded just 19 times, making them the joint fourth best defence in the league.
|Sunderland||C. Palace vs Sunderland||1|
|Sunderland||Aston Villa vs Sunderland||0|
|Sunderland||Newcastle vs Sunderland||0|
|Sunderland||Leicester vs Sunderland||0|
|Sunderland||Liverpool vs Sunderland||0|
5) But whilst they have been defending well, the side have managed to score just 16 goals of their own, the third lowest in the division. There is no denying that signing a striker has to be one of Poyet’s main aims in the January transfer window, and while he must be praised for his defensive work, there is a real need to improve the actions played in the final third.
6) Following on from this, Sunderland have scored just seven goals from open play, the lowest in the league. Five strikes have come from set pieces, two from counter attacks, one from a penalty and one own goal has benefited the side.
7) Sunderland have the worst discipline record in the top flight this term, having been shown 49 yellow cards across just 19 games - equating to 2.6 cards a game. However, they are one of just four clubs who have yet to pick up a red card, although their total of yellow cards is higher than the combined total of any other club.
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
8) A big part of their discipline problem has been Lee Cattermole, who has picked up the most individual yellow cards in the entire division, with nine collected in 18 games. Connor Wickham has the second highest tally in the Black Cats ranks, with five yellows to his name, also picked up across 18 games.
9) Having started the season with Vito Mannone in goal, Costel Pantilimon took the number one spot following the 2-0 defeat to Arsenal, making his first appearance of the season in the 3-1 victory over Palace. Despite only playing 10 games this term, the former Manchester City man has registered five clean sheets, only three lower than league leaders Fraser Forster and Lukasz Fabianski - who are joint on eight each.