Lee Cattermole

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Caution king Lee Cattermole departs Sunderland after 10 years

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Lee Cattermole, most known for his thumping challenges, physical style of play, and spectacular ability to rack up yellow cards at a stunning rate, has left Sunderland after 10 years with the Black Cats.

The 31-year-old midfielder was a member of the Sunderland starting lineup that fell to Manchester City in the 2014 League Cup final and played every minute of Sunderland’s run through the League One playoffs this past season that ended in a 1-0 loss to Charlton in the final. The club had suffered consecutive relegations in the two previous seasons and will play in League One again next campaign.

“Sunderland is a special club and this decision has not been easy, but I believe it is the right time to find a new challenge,” Cattermole said in the official club release. “The football club, over my 10 years, has had some fantastic managers, staff and players and I have been lucky to be part of that. I would like to say a big thank you to Jack Ross and his staff, and I wish him and the current squad all the best for the coming season. There are some exciting young players at the club and I will be looking forward to seeing them progress.”

Cattermole joined Sunderland from Wigan in the summer of 2009 and proceeded to accumulate 261 appearances for Sunderland, scoring 10 goals, assisting 11, and collecting 87 yellow cards. He sits eighth in career Premier League yellow cards with 88, accumulating that tally in just 272 top-flight appearances, at least 75 less appearances than anyone else above him in the list and over 100 appearances less than all but two of the top 11. By comparison, Gareth Barry earned his record 123 yellow cards in 679 appearances, while Paul Scholes – who sits fifth – earned his 97 yellow cards in 499 appearances. Frank Lampard earned 59 yellow cards in 611 Premier League appearances, while it took Cattermole just 194 appearances to reach that total.

Cattermole has also earned seven red cards in Premier League play, ranking him fourth all-time behind Richard Dunne, Duncan Ferguson, and Patrick Vierra all who picked up eight.

In the 2014/15 season, Cattermole picked up 14 yellow cards, earning every single one for a foul rather than time-wasting, diving, or dissent. However, of the 10 matches he missed that season – mostly for yellow card suspensions – the club won just one. Last season, in 29 League One appearances for Sunderland, he picked up 13 yellow cards, but also scored seven goals to help the club finish fourth and earn its playoff berth. All seven of his goals either tied a game or took the lead.

Ahead of critical Hull visit, Sunderland loses Cattermole for four months

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My goodness, does Sunderland need this Saturday’s match against Hull City.

It’s 20th place versus 18th place, and the bottom-dwelling Black Cats welcome the Tigers with the hopes of closing its six-point gap from safety. Hull’s a point back as well, and looking to lowly Sunderland as a prime place to leap ahead.

[ MORE: Mourinho rues lack of respect ]

The Black Cats could use any boost at this time, and instead are finding more bad news.

Midfielder and longtime club servant Lee Cattermole will not be available for at least four months after suffering a major hip injury.

And he joins a decent list of absences for Saturday’s match (from the BBC):

It had been hoped midfielder Jan Kirchhoff would return from injury but the German will not feature.

Midfielder Jack Rodwell is also out through injury while forward Fabio Borini is still sidelined and Steven Pienaar is suspended.

Despite the injuries, David Moyes will hope his Black Cats can build on a 2-1 win at Bournemouth.

“We need to give the supporters something to shout about and we haven’t done enough of that this year,” he said. “Hopefully we can tomorrow.”

Important players Jermain Defoe, Patrick Van Aanholt, and Wahbi Khazri remain healthy. Could that be enough to beat the Tigers?

Premier League Preview: Sunderland vs. Liverpool

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  • Sunderland winless vs. Liverpool since 2012
  • Reds hold 76W-36D-52L all-time advantage
  • Black Cats 7 points back of safety

Sunderland looks to the Stadium of Light in a bid to snap a four-game losing skid when Jurgen Klopp‘s Liverpool visits the Northeast on Wednesday (Watch live, 2:45 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).

Sam Allardyce‘s Black Cats have fallen back into hard times after a brief run of form early in his tenure as Sunderland boss. The Englishman has faced a murderer’s row of opponents in the club’s four-game run, with Man City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Watford all beating Sunderland.

Meanwhile, Klopp looks to see consistency restored to his side. Liverpool lost two of three before beating Leicester City on Boxing Day, and the Reds can rise to within a point of fifth with all three points today.

It’s the Jordan HendersonFabio Borini Derby, and it’s Wednesday in the Premier League.

[ WATCH LIVE: Stream every PL game via Live Extra ]

What they’re saying

Sunderland disrupter Lee Cattermole on the club’s problems: “At the minute teams are thinking it’s a bit too easy against us so we need to show a willingness to defend our own goal and do the hard part of it. When we don’t have the ball we need to get focused, look at our position, our shape and whether we are pressing it or dropping off.”

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson on facing Sunderland: “We will have to be clever again at Sunderland because it will be a difficult game for us so we need to make sure we do the same as we did against Leicester. We need to find different solutions in games and make sure we win the battle. Fighting throughout is just a given, really. We should be doing that every week and we need to make sure we do it again on Wednesday.”

Prediction

The venue will keep this one tight, as the Black Cats have taken down Stoke and Newcastle at the Stadium of Light, and held Spurs, Watford and Southampton to 1-0 margins in losses. But Liverpool’s depth is far better than Sunderland’s given the time between games, and the difference in class overall is gulf-sized. We’ve got it 2-1 for the Reds.

Aston Villa 2-2 Sunderland: Visitors battle back for point at Villa Park

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  • M’Vila opens with gorgeous free kick
  • Villa answers with two goals
  • Jeremain Lens levels it up
  • U.S. teen Gooch unused on Sunderland bench

A back-and-forth affair between two already desperate sides ended with Sunderland and Aston Villa splitting the spoils at Villa Park on Saturday.

Yann M’Vila and Jeremain Lens scored for Sunderland, with Scott Sinclair striking twice for Aston Villa in between, as the two sides stagd a wide open affair at Villa Park.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

M’Vila’s early free kick was curling and glorious, working around the outside of the wall and past USMNT keeper Brad Guzan.

But Lee Cattermole NFL-tackled his mark in the box three minutes later to gift Villa a penalty that Sinclair would convert for the equalizer.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Sinclair struck again before halftime, when he knocked in a good-looking, sweeping cross from Jordan Amavi.

New Sunderland signing Ola Toivonen subbed into the match and made an immediate impact after halftime, sending a ball to Lens. The Dutchman easily navigated a threat from Ciaran Clark before scoring with his left.

[ MORE: Click here for full lineups, stats, box score

Premier League at the half: Beautiful goals, and big club stalemates

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Some spectacular goals highlight Saturday’s 10 a.m. ET matches, and should have folks queuing up for the second halves of play.

WATCH THE SECOND HALVES ONLINE VIA LIVE EXTRA

Callum Wilson has netted via bicycle kick for Bournemouth, while Sunderland’s Yann M’Vila curled a gorgeous free kick home.

Liverpool 0-2 West Ham United
Some horrific defending from the Reds has given the visitors a halftime lead off the boots of Mark Noble and Manuel Lanzini.

Chelsea 0-0 Crystal Palace
The hosts should have a penalty after Kurt Zouma was manhandled off a set piece, but it’s still scoreless at the Bridge.

Aston Villa 2-1 Sunderland
Lee Cattermole gave up among the most obvious penalties you’ll see, as the Black Cats have wasted M’Vila’s curler.

Manchester City 0-0 Watford
Looks a lot like the Arsenal/Newcastle game, although the Hornets have all 10-men. City yet to express themselves.

Stoke City 0-1 West Bromwich Albion
A shocking red card to Ibrahim Afellay, who returned the slap of Craig Gardner, was made even worse by Charlie Adam’s obvious stamp. Potters down to nine men, and Salomon Rondon took advantage by opening his Baggies’ account.

Bournemouth 1-0 Leicester City
Wilson has four goals in two games after his beautiful bike.