Sunderland look to start digging themselves out of the bottom three Saturday when they visit Hull City at the KC Stadium(11 am ET, watch live online via NBC Sports Live Extra).
The Black Cats will be buoyed by last week’s win in the Tyne-Wear Derby, when Fabio Borini snatched a last-minute winner to lift them above Newcastle. That’s Sunderland’s first win of the season, but not even a second consecutive victory could lift them from the drop zone. Still, Gus Poyet will do his best, setting aside many men brought in by Paolo Di Canio in favor of old Sunderland standbys such as Lee Cattermole and Phil Bardsley. As for Borini, he’s rewarded with a start, alongside Steven Fletcher and Jozy Altidore — Poyet’s going for broke with three strikers from the start.
Meanwhile, Steve Bruce has his own point to prove, with the club that sacked him nearly two years ago paying a visit. Hull City got off to a solid start in their first season back in the Premier League, but have picked up just one point from their last three matches. A win against the side that pushed Bruce out the door would boost both his credentials and his side’s standing in the table. But with only seven goals scored in ten matches, it’s tough to believe the Tigers will truly manage a mauling.
Hull City starting XI: Harper, Rosenior, Figueroa, Davies, McShane, Huddlestone, Livermore, Elmohamady, Boyd, Aluko, Sagbo
Subs: Jakupovic, Meyler, Koren, Brady, Proschwitz, Faye, Quinn
Sunderland starting XI: Westwood, Bardsley, Dossena, O’Shea, Cuellar, Cattermole, Colback, Larsson, Borini, Fletcher, Altidore
Subs: Mannone, Brown, Gardner, Johnson, Celustka, Giaccherini, Sung-Yueng