Jason Roberts backs Sunderland to beat West Brom on one condition

Sunderland take on West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Former Wigan Athletic striker Jason Roberts has told Breathe Sport that Sunderland can beat West Bromwich Albion on Saturday if they adopt a positive approach.

The Black Cats have made big changes since their last outing against West Ham United, with Sam Allardyce taking over the reins following Dick Advocaat’s resignation.

Allardyce is very much a survival expert, yet the challenge ahead couldn’t be more difficult.

Sunderland have claimed just three points from eight matches this season and currently have the worst defensive record in the Premier League, conceding 18 goals.

However, despite their poor recent record at the Hawthorns, there is plenty of hope for an away win as the Baggies’ struggle for goals have seen them net just six times and in only four matches this season.

Speaking to Breathe Sport, Roberts feels the game could be decided on the organisation of set-pieces and isn’t ruling out a Sunderland win if they adopt a positive approach.

“I think this game will be about the details – who gets the set-pieces right and who gets the organisation right,” the former Blackburn Rovers man explained.

“This will be a game that could be decided by how positive Sam Allardyce can be. West Brom will want to settle in to it, but if Sunderland are on the front foot, I believe there is an opportunity they could win.”

Positive approach:

Any side under Tony Pulis is renowned for causing problems from set-pieces, and West Brom are no different with the likes of Chris Brunt and James Morrison excellent at dead-ball deliveries.

Allardyce will know his side have a brittle defence and Sebastien Coates’ suspension leaves them short on height at the back. They can’t afford to give away anything cheaply.

Dropping back could prompt dangerous free-kicks in the final third, therefore the Black Cats may be wiser to pushing up, squeezing the space and not allowing the hosts to dictate play around the Sunderland box.

Allardyce’s new side have not won at West Brom since 2007. What better time to break that sequence.

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