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Sunderland on a knife-edge


Jordan Pickford best for Sunderland in poor draw vs. Burnley

Sunderland failed to pick up a much-needed win after they were held at home by Burnley.
Sunderland failed to pick up a much-needed win after they were held at home by Burnley.

Sunderland's inability to convert chances unless they fall to Jermain Defoe made relegation a near certainty on Saturday as Burnley, the Premier League's worst away side, secured a goalless draw at the Stadium of Light.

Almost beyond belief, another attendance of more than 40,000 turned up in hopes of seeing Sunderland's first home win since the 1-0 victory over Watford in mid-December. But after a dismal first half in which Burnley should have taken the lead, home fans saw a significant improvement...

 By Chris Wright

Bradley Lowery overjoyed by Jermain Defoe's England call-up

England manager Gareth Southgate raised more than a few eyebrows by calling a raft of fresh and uncapped faces into his squad for the upcoming games against Germany and Lithuania.

The headline was a recall for veteran striker Jermain Defoe, who has been welcomed back into the international fold after winning his last cap way back in November 2013.

However, the news of Defoe's inclusion was most warmly celebrated by his littlest chum, young Sunderland fan Bradley Lowery, with whom the 34-year-old...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Can Man City rebound vs. Liverpool? Wenger under pressure at West Brom

The Exploding Heads break down who would win in a showdown between the cities of Manchester and Liverpool.
The ESPN FC crew present their Premier League relegation predictions, but are there any surprises from the group?

Manchester City and Arsenal are both coming off the back of embarrassing European exits, but City's will hurt more as they were ahead against Monaco. Pep Guardiola has to rouse the troops against Liverpool, who tend to disappoint against smaller clubs but should be perfectly comfortable against the Catalan and his style of play.

Arsene Wenger is under major pressure, so has to get the fans back on his side with a big win over West Brom, while Manchester United's Europa League exploits might see...

David Moyes still right for Sunderland in the long term despite relegation fear

Sunderland return to Premier League action on Saturday, needing to beat Burnley at home if only to avoid being left utterly stranded at the foot of the table. With a shocking goal difference of -26, the reality for David Moyes is that only an extraordinary pair of scorelines in Sunderland's match, and when Middlesbrough host Manchester United on Sunday, would lift his side to 19th place.

Since that is not going to happen, Sunderland's challenge is to produce the sort of winning display that would...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

The cost of Premier League relegation enough to make clubs panic

The ESPN FC crew present their Premier League relegation predictions, but are there any surprises from the group?
Alejandro Moreno ranks the performances of the Premier League's most expensive transfers so far this season.

Relegation is not the end of the world for a Premier League club but it is undoubtedly costly. With just over two months of the season left, the top division's current bottom three -- Sunderland, Hull and Middlesbrough -- may well be making plans to avert the financial flux that demotion will bring.

The blow can be cushioned, chiefly by getting back up as soon as possible with the benefit of parachute payments, as Hull and Burnley were able to do last season at the first attempt, but that requires...

Sunderland show fight but spirited resistance peters out in Man City loss

Sunderland's descent towards the Championship continued on Sunday when a spirited resistance petered out and Manchester City strolled to a clinical 2-0 victory to keep their title hopes alive.

Spurred by another big Stadium of Light crowd, David Moyes' bottom-placed side should've taken the lead on 20 minutes, when Jermain Defoe struck the post from long range and Fabio Borini headed wide of an open goal from the rebound.

But two decisive passes from David Silva went on to settle the game. The first,...