Sam Allardyce has warned his Sunderland players to be wary of an out-of-form Stoke as their battle for Premier League survival continues at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.
The Black Cats have only lost once in their last seven matches – against league leaders Leicester – but five of those games have been draws, with just one win.
It has been enough to lift them out of the relegation places ahead of Norwich on goal difference with four games remaining.
Sunderland will look to try and get more points on the board this weekend when they travel to face Mark Hughes’ Potters, who are on a dismal run at the moment with just one win in seven, while they have conceded four goals in each of their last three games.
It represents a good opportunity for the Wearsiders to pick up three vital points, but Allardyce is remaining cautious.
The Black Cats boss said on the club’s website: “What we are is in good form at the moment and if play anything like we did at Norwich [won 3-0] we will give them one hell of a game.
“But I would expect Mark will have Stoke really revved up and he will want to stop this very poor run of performances.
“It could spoil what has been an exceptional season for him because the fans are starting to ask what’s gone wrong and what’s happened, and on what they’ve achieved this year that would be a shame. “But I do hope they’re as bad as they have been in the last three games.”
Sunderland, who are 2.00 to be relegated, are 2.70 to win at Stoke, while the Potters are 2.63 to pick up the points and the draw is 3.10.