Three reasons why Sunderland will stay in the Premier League

The Black Cats may be rooted in the bottom three, but they have reason to be optimistic... for now.

They possess something that few around them don't... A goalscorer

Sunderland are the bottom seven's top scorers this season with 36 and Jermain Defoe has scored precisely a third of those.

The diminutive front man could give them the edge in the remaining seven fixtures.

It's in their hands - They may be four points adrift of safety but, for now at least, the Black Cats control of their own destiny.

They have a game in hand on 17th-place Norwich City, who host them at Carrow Road next weekend. Winning both of those fixtures would allow them to overtake the Canaries, other results permitting.

History - If there's one thing Sunderland are good at, it's lulling their fellow strugglers into a false sense of security.

It's four seasons since the Wearsiders ended a campaign comfortably, with Sam Allardyce their fourth different manager in that time.

In two of the previous three campaigns, the club has survived by three points following a late surge in the final few weeks, while in 2013-14 they overcame a worrying spell to escape the drop by five points - finishing as high as 14th on that occasion.

Can we expect a repeat performance this time around?

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