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Peter Crouch challenges Craig Gardner unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.
Stephane Sessegnon fouled by Rory Delap, the ref awards a free kick. Michael Turner restarts play with the free kick.
The referee blows for offside. Thomas Sorensen restarts play with the free kick.
Marc Wilson takes a shot. Stephane Sessegnon gets a block in. Corner from the left by-line taken by Glenn Whelan, Peter Crouch produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
Andy Wilkinson goes off and Ryan Shotton comes on. Ahmed Elmohamady comes on in place of David Meyler.
Ricardo Fuller takes a shot. Save by Simon Mignolet.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Ricardo Fuller on Phillip Bardsley. Phillip Bardsley restarts play with the free kick.
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Sebastian Larsson.
Peter Crouch takes a shot. Simon Mignolet makes a save.
Jonathan Walters has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand post.
Michael Turner challenges Ricardo Fuller unfairly and gives away a free kick. Glenn Whelan delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing, Simon Mignolet makes a save.
Michael Turner challenges Peter Crouch unfairly and gives away a free kick. Glenn Whelan restarts play with the free kick.
Rory Delap has a shot on goal from outside the box which misses right.
James McClean scores a goal from inside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Stoke 0-1 Sunderland.Assist by Stephane Sessegnon.
Foul by Jonathan Woodgate on Stephane Sessegnon, free kick awarded. Phillip Bardsley takes the free kick.
Inswinging corner taken by Sebastian Larsson, Jonathan Walters makes a clearance.
Jack Colback fouled by Rory Delap, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Michael Turner.
Michael Turner gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Peter Crouch. Ryan Shawcross takes the direct free kick.
John O'Shea challenges Jonathan Walters unfairly and gives away a free kick. The referee books John O'Shea for unsporting behaviour. Direct free kick taken by Glenn Whelan. Marc Wilson takes a shot. Michael Turner gets a block in. Corner taken right-footed by Glenn Whelan.
Foul by Ricardo Fuller on David Meyler, free kick awarded. John O'Shea takes the direct free kick.
The ball is delivered by James McClean, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Stephane Sessegnon goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
James McClean delivers the ball, clearance by Marc Wilson. Corner taken left-footed by James McClean, clearance made by Jonathan Walters.
Unfair challenge on David Meyler by Robert Huth results in a free kick. Robert Huth is sent off. Jermaine Pennant leaves the field to be replaced by Jonathan Woodgate. Simon Mignolet takes the free kick.
Craig Gardner is adjudged to have handled the ball. Thomas Sorensen takes the free kick.
Centre by Phillip Bardsley, clearance made by Robert Huth.
Jonathan Walters takes a shot. Save by Simon Mignolet.
Phillip Bardsley delivers the ball, save made by Thomas Sorensen.
Cameron Jerome leaves the field to be replaced by Ricardo Fuller.
Robert Huth concedes a free kick for a foul on Jack Colback. Free kick crossed right-footed by Sebastian Larsson from right wing, blocked by Jermaine Pennant. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Kieran Richardson played to the near post, clearance made by Robert Huth.
James McClean delivers the ball, clearance by Robert Huth.
Cameron Jerome fouled by David Meyler, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Ryan Shawcross.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Simon Mignolet by Cameron Jerome. Simon Mignolet takes the free kick.
Marc Wilson sends in a cross, Simon Mignolet makes a save.
Stephane Sessegnon is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Thomas Sorensen.
Stephane Sessegnon produces a right-footed shot from long distance which goes wide right of the goal.
Sebastian Larsson takes the inswinging corner, Peter Crouch manages to make a clearance.
A cross is delivered by Jonathan Walters.
Foul by Jermaine Pennant on Jack Colback, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Michael Turner.
Craig Gardner takes a shot. Robert Huth gets a block in.
Foul by Marc Wilson on Craig Gardner, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by John O'Shea.
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Jermaine Pennant from the left by-line, Craig Gardner makes a clearance.
Glenn Whelan sends in a cross, save made by Simon Mignolet.
Foul by David Meyler on Jermaine Pennant, free kick awarded. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Jermaine Pennant from right channel, Kieran Richardson manages to make a clearance. Corner from right by-line taken by Jermaine Pennant.
Jermaine Pennant delivers the ball.
Marc Wilson takes a shot. Michael Turner gets a block in.
Corner taken short by Jermaine Pennant.
The ball is swung over by Jermaine Pennant.
Foul by Jermaine Pennant on Jack Colback, free kick awarded. Kieran Richardson takes the free kick.
Pulis tips O'Neill for England job
Stoke manager Tony Pulis feels his Sunderland counterpart Martin O'Neill would be a "fantastic choice" to succeed Fabio Capello as England head coach.
Former Leicester, Celtic and Aston Villa boss O'Neill has had a major impact at the Stadium of Light since his appointment in December, the Northern Irishman taking a Black Cats team that was hovering just above the Barclays Premier League relegation zone into the top half of the table.
Wednesday's 3-0 win over Norwich made it 19 points from the last 27 on offer for the Wearsiders and saw them move into eighth place, leapfrogging Stoke, who they play at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.
Pulis is certainly anticipating a stern test for his side and sees O'Neill as a prime candidate to take charge of England after Capello.
"Just look at their (Sunderland's) form - I think they are the form team in the Premier League," Pulis said.
"I went up and watched them on Wednesday night and they are winning, they have got loads of confidence and Martin has got them really going. It is going to be as tough a game as we have had at the Britannia this year.
"It is not just the last few games he has managed at Sunderland. If you look at what Martin has achieved over his career as a manager, it has been exceptional.
"This is not just a coincidence - the record says that he is a top, top manager, because he gets results.
"If England are looking for a British manager next time around, if it is not going to be (Tottenham boss) Harry Redknapp then Martin would be a fantastic choice."
These are also heady times for Stoke, who have what Pulis describes as a "massive month" ahead of them, with an FA Cup fifth round trip to Crawley and both legs of their Europa League last-32 tie against Valencia to come on top of their league fixtures before the end of February.
Asked if he was facing the most challenging period of his managerial career, Pulis said: "Yes, and I think it will be one of the great moments, if we achieve success, that this football club has been through in its' history.
"To be in the position we are in at the moment - still challenging in Europe, in the fifth round of the FA Cup for the third year running and in the top 10 of the Premier League - means the next month is massive.
"We need everyone to be galvanised, especially the supporters.
"We hope we get their support like never before - and that is difficult, because they have been top drawer for us over the past four or five years."
Winger Matthew Etherington is a doubt for the game having missed two days of training due to a virus.
Aside from that concern, Pulis has virtually a full squad to select from, with only long-term absentee Mamady Sidibe (knee) unavailable.
O'Neill admits he worries constantly over the fight for Barclays Premier League points.
The Black Cats eased themselves on to 30 points with the resounding victory over Norwich which put them into eighth place to surely banish their fears of being dragged into the fight against relegation they found themselves in as Steve Bruce's reign drew to a close.
However, O'Neill, while delighted with a tally of which he could hardly have dreamt when he first picked up the reins, is no more ready to relax as he prepares for the tough trip to Stoke.
Asked if he still frets over his side's vastly improved standing, he said: "Every day, of course.
"I remember saying to you here way back some weeks ago, the first ambition of mine was to try to get level points from the number of games we had played.
"That was the first thought so it would give you a little bit of respite, you would need that on the board, and then eventually, you would look to go past that.
"We were able to achieve that and then obviously, the winning of the games gives the players the confidence and self-belief to go on.
"Winning football matches is the be all and end all."
Injuries continue to play a significant role in the Black Cats' season with Wes Brown sidelined for up to two months, David Vaughan facing a number of weeks about and skipper Lee Cattermole only expected to return to training at the end of next week.
But loan signings Wayne Bridge and Sotirios Kyrgiakos are now on board - the former appeared as a late substitute in midweek and the Greece international is the squad for Saturday's game - and Fraizer Campbell's blistering return has provided a welcome boost.
Black Cats grateful for McClean strike
Sunderland's impressive form continued as a strike from James McClean gave them a 1-0 win against 10-man Stoke at a wintry Britannia Stadium.
In a contest during which snow fell throughout, a first half of few goalscoring opportunities finished with Potters defender Robert Huth receiving his marching orders in the 45th minute. The German was shown a straight red card following a tackle on David Meyler.
McClean then netted in the 60th, bursting through the hosts' defence and tucking the ball away to seal a victory which means the Black Cats have now taken 22 points from the 30 on offer in the Barclays Premier League since manager Martin O'Neill took charge of the Wearsiders.
O'Neill's side, who had been hovering just above the relegation zone when he was appointed in December, remain eighth in the table while Stoke have slipped to 12th.
Potters boss Tony Pulis made three changes to his first XI, forward Cameron Jerome and midfielders Glenn Whelan and Rory Delap replacing Kenwyne Jones, Wilson Palacios - who, like the ill Matthew Etherington, did not feature in the squad at all - and Dean Whitehead.
There was only one adjustment for the visitors, with Meyler promoted to the starting line-up and Fraizer Campbell dropping to the bench, while transfer deadline day loan signings Wayne Bridge and Sotirios Kyrgiakos were also among the substitutes.
The snow that had been falling in the build-up to the game - which was being cleared off the pitch right up until kick-off - continued to come down as the action got under way and it took a while for either side to really warm up.
Stoke enjoyed the lion's share of possession early on and, after Jerome was beaten to Peter Crouch's flick-on by Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, the Potters won a corner that led to Marc Wilson trying his luck from outside the box, firing in a low effort which was blocked.
Mignolet then claimed a useful-looking cross into the area from Whelan, but there was little being fashioned in the way of genuine attempts on goal.
Stephane Sessegnon started to show some endeavour for the visitors, seeing one shot deflect away from danger and on the half-hour mark, drilling another narrowly wide.
It was Sunderland's best spell yet, but with conditions getting worse, it was difficult to build any momentum.
Jerome, who had taken a knock, came off for Ricardo Fuller before Jon Walters brought a save out of Mignolet with a drilled shot.
The first half then ended on a sour note for Stoke as Huth was dismissed for a sliding challenge on Meyler.
Pulis, incensed by referee Martin Atkinson's decision, reacted by substituting Jermaine Pennant for Jonathan Woodgate.
Sunderland went close shortly after the interval as Sessegnon headed McClean's cross just over the bar.
At the other end, another Wilson long-range attempt looped up off a Black Cats shirt, but the visitors were looking to make their man advantage count and, 15 minutes into the second half, they took the lead.
Collecting the ball from Sessegnon, McClean powered forward and, having evaded Andy Wilkinson and Ryan Shawcross, slotted it past Thomas Sorensen.
Delap tried to make a swift response but lashed a shot off target and, after Mignolet survived spilling a long throw from the midfielder, Walters put an effort high and wide.
Stoke continued to press, with Crouch's header being caught by Mignolet.
The goalkeeper then got down to save an angled effort from Fuller.
Wilson's deflected shot earned a corner towards the end, but it went unconverted as Sunderland emerged triumphant.
"Who will win the PL title this season - 2013/14?"
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