Both of these outfits have been embroiled in relegation battles for much of the campaign, but both approach this match officially safe. With that, there could be something of a party atmosphere at the Stadium of Light this weekend – and don’t be surprised if both clubs field weakened outfits to mark the occasion.
As far as miracles go, what Sunderland have achieved over the course of the last few weeks is nothing short of remarkable. The fact that Gus Poyet wrote the team off for relegation says everything you need to know about how bleak their chances were, yet they now approach this match completely safe and sat in a comfortable 14th spot. Quite incredibly, they could finish the season as high as 12th, which would be bordering on the ridiculous when you consider that they have been at foot at the table for much of the campaign. Ahead of this game, the Black Cats are in the form of their life and have now won their last four games, whilst managing to drop just two points across their last five. When you look at some of their opponents, including Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United, it’s no surprise to now see that Gus Poyet now believes in miracles!
Swansea meanwhile had their fate sealed slightly earlier than their opponents, and they approach this game sat a point ahead of them. Therefore, the only real motivation for the Swans is to improve their league position and just like Sunderland, they could peak as high as 12th with the correct result this weekend. There has been another significant development at the Liberty Stadium this week, with Garry Monk being handed the manager’s position on a permanent basis. Just like his opposite number Poyet, Monk was brought in to save the Swans from the drop and having achieved this, the club’s board have pledged their faith in him for next term.
Sunderland’s win during the week not only confirmed their survival, but will also allow Gus Poyet to rest numerous first team players for the season finale. Two men who won’t be featuring anyway are Sebastian Larsson and Lee Cattermole though, as minor knocks continue to hinder the duo. It looks as though Swansea are again going to have to cope without the injured Michu, with the striker still not fit enough to make an appearance. At the other end of the field Garry Monk is unlikely to risk Angel Rangel, as he still sits on the sidelines with a groin injury.
With so little riding on this game, it’s all but impossible to peg a prediction on it. Nevertheless, with Sunderland finishing the season in such strong fashion and also holding the home advantage, we think they’ll have enough about them to record a 2-0 victory over their Welsh opponents.