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Sunderland defence exposed


First and Last: Wear-Tyne derby

Sunderland vs. Newcastle

Sunderland will dig in to make it two wins in a row versus Stoke City

Jermain Defoe earns Sunderland first away league win of season at Crystal Palace.

Sunderland have an early opportunity to build on Monday's heartening 1-0 win at Crystal Palace when Stoke City visit the Stadium of Light for a game that could easily define the rest of the season.

Mark Hughes has built a strong side that should find little difficulty in maintaining upper-mid-table status. But Stoke are not world-beaters or serious challengers for a Champions League place. They are therefore just the sort of team Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce should expect his own players to overcome...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

The Premier League relegation battle is intensifying already

Swansea's Garry Monk, left, and Eddie How of Bournemouth, right, are both facing relegation battles.

With 13 matches having been played, over a third of the Premier League season has now gone and, as a hectic December approaches, the relegation battle is taking shape.

Aston Villa's encounter with Watford on Saturday looks like the first of a series of "six-pointers" that also includes Villa's trip to Newcastle on Dec. 19 for a meeting of two traditionally big clubs, who are currently in dire trouble.

If Chelsea, currently 15th, are to be removed from the picture on the grounds of the sheer unlikelihood...

Crystal Palace win provides reasons for renewed hope at Sunderland

Jermain Defoe earns Sunderland first away league win of season at Crystal Palace.

Sunderland won three precious points with a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace on Monday night in a gutsy display built on stout defending, formidable team spirit and an element of good fortune.

Needing to rise as quickly as possible from the bottom three of the Premier League, manager Sam Allardyce would be forgiven for caring little about the manner of the win.

Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace
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But he will take heart from reasons for renewed hope that Sunderland might once again defy the odds and ensure survival.

Jermain Defoe, whose goal-poaching...

Sam Allardyce needs Sunderland morale boost against Palace

Sam Allardyce needs his side to step up on Monday night.

On Monday, Sunderland will attempt to repeat an unlikely second victory at Crystal Palace in successive seasons in a new test of manager Sam Allardyce's ability to inspire a revival before time runs out for his relegation-threatened side.

Little more than a year ago, the team were led by Gus Poyet and went to Selhurst Park in a state of disarray similar to that confronting Allardyce now.

Then, as has happened again this season, a first win of the season had finally come in October only to be followed...

 By Alex Shaw

Anfield atmosphere among worst in Premier League as fans give verdicts

The ESPN FC crew discuss fans leaving early in matches and our match-goers believe the Premier League can improve.

What's it really like to attend a Premier League match? Many watch from afar and don't know, so we polled our ESPN FC match-going bloggers -- the guys in the stands week in, week out -- to find out how they rate the atmosphere and experience.

They didn't hold back. Not surprisingly, our Arsenal blogger considered the Emirates too corporate while our Liverpool blogger didn't hold back when asked about the atmosphere at Anfield.


- Survey: Prem clubs rated for atmosphere
- Bloggers: Our match-day experiences
- Klopp criticises Liverpool fans
- ESPN FC TV: Should fans leave early?
- Highlights (U.S. only): Premier League | Champions League
- News indexTransfer Talk | FantasyFC TV | Podcast | MLS

Here are the results of our informal poll ...

(Figures regarding cost...

Sunderland situation bleak as Sam Allardyce's men lose to Southampton

Yann M'Vila gave away a penalty as Sunderland slipped to defeat at home to Southampton.

Sunderland paid the price for a dull, nervous and uncreative performance with yet another defeat -- surely as comfortable a 1-0 win as Southampton will gain all season and one that thrust Sam Allardyce's side deeper into relegation trouble.

The new manager, who has now lost three of his first four games in charge, may have left the Stadium of Light feeling at a loss to work out what he can do with the squad he inherited.

At Everton last Sunday, Sunderland carved out chances galore and scored two...