Sunderland v Cardiff – Saturday 15:00
Sunderland are in meltdown once more after four defeats from five winless matches, but it’s been a different story for high-flying Cardiff who are W2-D1-L1 on the road despite already travelling to last season’s play-off semi-finalists Fulham, as well as Wolves and Preston who are currently 2nd and 4th in the table. Given The Black Cats have lost three of four winless games at the Stadium of Light, we’re backing the visitors.
The Bluebirds have been level at the break in 10 of their last 16 away, including three out of four this term, whilst Sunderland are D2-L2 in home games at half-time and the negative approach experienced under Moyes hasn’t subsided at all with the appointment of Grayson. The Black Cats were level at the break in seven of their last eight at the back end of last season, as well as in seven of their final 10 at home, and they appear to have struggled to replace the firepower of Defoe with an emphasis being placed on keeping things tight instead. Indeed, they’ve managed to score more than once on just a single occasion this season and have scored just one first-half goal at home. With this in mind we’re going to back Draw/Cardiff HT/FT at 6.8.
Cardiff have in fact experienced just the single goal for either team during the first halves of their four away games to date, and given we expect Sunderland to keep things as tight as possible, Under 2.5 Goals looks a banker. For all their problems, only Barnsley have put more than two past Sunderland this season and that came with Grayson’s team on the road.