Sunderland visit Stoke City in the Championship this Saturday, chasing the Black Cats’ first win against the Potters since with Jermain Defoe and Sebastian Coates in November 2015.
Alex Neil targeting first Sunderland win over Stoke City in seven years
Alex Neil takes his Sunderland side to Stoke City on Saturday, August 20 pursuing the Black Cats’ first win over the Potters in seven years. The Stadium of Light outfit have not claimed three points against the Staffordshire squad since a Premier League meeting on home soil.
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Stoke have also won two of their last three encounters with Sunderland since last losing to the North East club. The Potters did a Premier League double over this weekend’s visitor in the 2016/17 campaign, winning 2-0 at home before a 3-1 victory on their visit to Wearside.
Patrick van Aanholt and Duncan Watmore scored the only goals of the game as Sunderland last beat Stoke in 2015. It took to the 82nd-minute for the Black Cats to break the deadlock under former boss Sam Allardyce, as they climbed out of the relegation zone and into 17th.
The result marked just Sunderland’s third win of the top-flight term after 14 fixtures for 12 points. Allardyce also needed two late goals, even though Stoke were playing with 10 men beyond the 47th-minute after Ryan Shawcross was sent off after he injured Jermain Defoe.
Stoke had enjoyed the clearer chances and more of the ball during the first half, but Costel Pantilimon denied Jonathan Walters with the Potters’ best effort. Bojan, Xherdan Shaqiri and Marko Arnautovic then could not find a way past the Romanian in the second period.
Neil will hope he can now follow Allardyce in taking a Sunderland win over Stoke when his Black Cats face Michael O’Neill’s Potters on Saturday. So, with that in mind, who started as Allardyce took a win over the Staffordshire side at the Stadium of Light in November 2015?
Costel Pantilimon (GK): Romanian kept clean sheet in last Sunderland win vs Stoke
Pantilimon spent 18 months with Sunderland between joining from Manchester City in July 2014 to joining Watford in January 2016. Over that time, the 35-year-old amassed 16 clean sheets in 49 appearances across all competitions. But he also conceded a total of 71 goals.
DeAndre Yedlin (RWB): Former Black Cats loanee now in MLS at Inter Miami
DeAndre Yedlin spent the 2015/16 Premier League campaign on loan to Sunderland from Tottenham Hotspur. The right-back would feature in 23 top-flight games, before sealing a £5m move to Newcastle United in the following summer market to replace Daryl Janmaat.
The United States international would go on to spend five years at St James’ Park with 125 appearances. Yedlin then secured a move to Turkey with Galatasaray in February 2021, but only lasted a year in Istanbul before he headed for Major League Soccer with Inter Miami.
Sebastian Coates (CB): Uruguayan now Sporting Lisbon captain after 2017 transfer
Sebastian Coates joined Sunderland on loan from Liverpool in September 2014, before the clubs agreed a permanent deal in 2015. But the Uruguayan only remained at the Stadium of Light to January 2016 and joining Sporting Lisbon on loan, which they made permanent.
The 31-year-old made 19 of his 32 Sunderland appearances during the 2015/16 campaign. Coates has since gone on to feature 283 times for Sporting Lisbon across all competitions, and took over the Portuguese giants’ captaincy in February 2020 and still boasts the role.
Younes Kaboul (CB): Former Black Cats enforcer retired in 2019
Younes Kaboul called time on his career in 2019 following three seasons with Watford. The 36-year-old moved to Vicarage Road from Sunderland after just a year at the club, despite playing 23 of 25 Premier League games available after leaving Tottenham Hotspur for £3m.
John O’Shea (CB): Captained Sunderland to the club’s last win over Stoke
John O’Shea captained Sunderland to the club’s last win against Stoke in 2015, in his seven year Black Cats career. The 119-cap Republic of Ireland international moved to Wearside in 2011 from Manchester United and stayed there for 256 matches before he joined Reading.
One year with Reading would mark the end to O’Shea’s career, as he hung up his boots in 2019. The 41-year-old enjoyed hist most games for one club while at Old Trafford with 394 outings, along with five Premier League titles, and is now Ireland’s U21 assistant manager.
Patrick van Aanholt (LWB): Scored opening goal in last Sunderland win over Stoke
Van Aanholt broke the deadlock the last time Sunderland beat Stoke with an 82nd-minute effort past Jack Butland. The Dutch wing-back fired home from the edge of the penalty box one of his nine goals over 95 games with the Black Cats from a well-worked short free-kick.
Chelsea sold Van Aanholt to Sunderland in 2014, and he remained in the North East up to joining Crystal Palace for £14m in January 2017. A total of 134 games would follow for the 19-cap international in south London before joining his current club, Galatasaray, in 2021.
Lee Cattermole (CM): Man of the Match in last Sunderland win over Stoke
Lee Cattermole was the Man of the Match as Sunderland took their last win against Stoke in 2015. The midfielder was industrious in the engine room, keeping the Black Cats in gear with a string of brilliant passes from his deep-lying position, whilst organising the defence.
Sunderland signed Cattermole from Wigan Athletic in 2009 and called on his services until 2019. A 10-year stretch on Wearside returned his most games at one club with 262, before joining VVV-Venlo for the last year of his career. He is now Middlesbrough’s U18 manager.
Yann M’Vila (CM): Olympiacos star spent one year at Stadium of Light
Yann M’Vila spent a year at the Stadium of Light for the 2015/16 Premier League term. The Black Cats loaned the Frenchman off Rubin Kazan for five assists in 40 games. He returned to Russia for two years, before joining Saint-Etienne until his move to Olympiacos in 2020.
Sebastian Larsson (CAM): AIK Solna star enjoyed six-year Sunderland stay
Sebastian Larsson enjoyed a six-year stay at Sunderland between joining from Birmingham City in 2011 and leaving for Hull City after 203 games, 14 goals and 23 assists. The 37-year-old would only spend one season with the Tigers before joining his current side, AIK Solna.
Steven Fletcher (ST): Striker struggled to impact last Sunderland win vs Stoke
Steven Fletcher had a limited impact on proceedings as Sunderland took their last win over Stoke seven years ago. The forward would then leave the Stadium of Light during January 2016 on loan to Marseille, before a permanent summer switch with Sheffield Wednesday.
Sunderland had signed Fletcher from Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2012 for £12m, rising to £14m with performance-related add-ons. He returned their investment with 23 goals in 108 games, and now plies his trade at Dundee United after leaving Stoke earlier this summer.
Jermain Defoe (ST): Sam Allardyce forced to take injured star off vs Stoke
Defoe’s afternoon only lasted 31 minutes before Allardyce had to replace the forward with Duncan Watmore due to his injury. Watmore would, however, go on to score Sunderland’s second goal in the 84th-minute to secure the three points with a low finish across Butland.
Sunderland enjoyed Defoe’s services from his 2015 arrival from MLS side Toronto FC, up to joining Bournemouth in 2017. The 57-cap England international would also return in 2022 for the final three months of his career, after spending three years in Scotland at Rangers.
Defoe made precisely 100 outings with the Black Cats from his two stints at the club for 37 goals and four assists. He has now returned to Tottenham as an academy coach, the club the 39-year-old played his most games for with 362 outings, plus 143 goals and 32 assists.