The Black Cats host Blackburn Rovers on Boxing Day in front of over 40,000 supporters, as Sunderland look to edge closer to the play-off places.
Blackburn, despite being so high in the table, have struggled a lot with consistency.
They currently sit in 3rd, but they have lost 10 games in 23 and they still haven’t drew a game all season.
The Black Cats lost last time out against Blackburn at Ewood Park in October, 2-0 despite playing really good football.
If Rovers were able to win, they could move to just 2 points behind the automatic promotion places as they look to return to the big time.
The Black Cats will be weary of Blackburn’s Bereton Diaz, who is the Championship’s second highest goal scorer with 9 goals and he also scored a stunning goal against Sunderland in October.
The Championship this season has been exceptionally close, as Sunderland currently sit 13th, but with a victory, they could move as high as 6th, depending on other results.
Rovers have suffered a few big defeats lately, losing 3-0 to their bitter rivals Burnley, 4-1 to Preston and 4-1 to Nottingham Forrest in the Caraboa Cup.
Sunderland have been in decent form, however they have failed to win their last 2 matches.
Last time out, away to Hull, Sunderland battled out a hard fought 1-1 draw, despite going down to 10 men, thanks to a goal by Ross Stewart on his return.
Elliot Embleton suffered an ankle fracture in his tackle that saw him get a red against Hull, and he is likely to miss the rest of the season!
Both Ross Stewart and Dan Ballard are available and could start.
Danny Batth will miss out after going off last week with a calf problem, but Mowbray has said that he will be back sooner rather than later.
Sunderland 2-0 Blackburn
Scorers – Ross Stewart and Jack Clarke