- Venue:Stadium of Light
- Referee:Atkinson, M
FULL TIME SUNDERLAND 0-0 FULHAM: An instantly forgettable match ends goalless with both goalkeepers having virtually nothing to do all afternoon.
There will be three minutes of added time here but a goal does not look like coming for us, although stranger things have happened.
Benjani Mwaruwari tries an effort at goal but it almost results in being a pass to Darren Bent but the striker can't reach it and it's a goal kick to Fulham.
Alan Hutton does well down the flank and puts the ball in to Fraizer Campbell who spoons his shot over the bar. He really should have got that on target.
Damien Duff gets the cross in after great build up play but Lorik Cana is on hand to clear and spare George McCartney's blushes after he was skinned by the Fulham man.
Sunderland also make a change as John Mensah is going off to be replaced by George McCartney.
Bobby Zamora is now going off for Fulham with David Elm coming on.
Bobby Zamora is shown a yellow card for persistent fouling against John Mensah and is lucky not to get a second for dissent against the referee.
A great move by Sunderland sees Boudewijn Zenden whip the ball in and Alan Hutton just can't divert the ball over the goal line.
Benjani Mwaruwari is going to get a chance to score a winner for Sunderland as he comes on for Kenwyne Jones.
Boudewijn Zenden puts the kick into the area and Mark Schwarzer does gather on his line but the referee blows for a foul on the keeper.
Brede Hangeland fouls Darren Bent and Sunderland get a free kick in a decent position.
Damien Duff whips a free kick into the Sunderland area but Anton Ferdinand heads it clear and the home side look to break again butAaron Hughes knocks the ball back to Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer.
Boudewijn Zenden gets a chance inside the Fulham area but he puts the effort into the side netting from an angle.
Simon Davies makes a good run behind the defence and pulls his cross into the middle towards Bobby Zamora but it is too close to Craig Gordon.
Darren Bent nearly gets on the end of a long Michael Turner ball but he can't reach it as it runs away for Fulham's Mark Schwarzer to gather.
Sunderland finally clear the corner and as they break Kieran Richardson is hauled down by Jonathan Greening who is rightly booked.
Good build up play sees Damien Duff get his shot off which goes out for a corner off a defender's leg.
The action is going up and down the field with very little happening in the final thirds of the field in what has been a very poor game.
Sunderland break quickly but Kieran Richardson over hits his pass to Alan Hutton and a great opportunity breaks down leaving Steve Bruce looking very frustrated.
Damien Duff whips a free kick in from the right hand side but Brede Hangeland knocks it down and Boudewijn Zenden clears.
Boudewijn Zenden tees up a shot from distance but Chris Baird spots the danger and blocks the effort from getting into the box.
Fulham break up field from the Sunderland throw and Michael Turner is booked for a handball.
Chris Baird gets in a block to deny Darren Bent getting in on goal and Sunderland win a throw in down near the corner flag.
Darren Bent curls a shot at goal which has Mark Schwarzer diving at full stretch but it was always going wide.
Danny Murphy is going off for Fulham with Jonathan Greening coming on to replace him.
Good build up play by Sunderland between Boudewijn Zenden and Kenwyne Jones creates a chance for Alan Hutton but his left-foot shot fails to trouble Mark Schwarzer.
Lee Cattermole is going off as he does not look match fit and Boudewijn Zenden is coming on for Sunderland.
A ball forward finds Darren Bent offside and the fans are showing signs of frustration and quite rightly to.
Michael Turner hits a ball from halfway and it drops out for a goal kick as the second half is just as bad as the first was so far.
Fulham have a break and Bobby Zamora tries to suck in John Mensah to give away a penalty but the defender does well to block him and Michael Turner completes the clearance.
Simon Davies puts the corner in and Kenwyne Jones is being fouled as he gets up to clear so a Sunderland free kick in their own box.
John Mensah does well to get a foot in and concedes a corner after great work between Damien Duff and Zoltan Gera.
John Mensah looks like he is tugging away at Bobby Zamora's shirt in the area and is lucky not to give away a penalty.
The action is back underway and this game needs a huge spark from somwhere as the first half was instantly forgettable.
HALF TIME SUNDERLAND 0-0 FULHAM: A disappointing half of very few scoring chances comes to an end at the Stadium of Light.
Just the two minutes of stoppage time and a poor half will be brought to an end.
Bobby Zamora hits an effort towards the goal and it ends up in the hands of Craig Gordon off John Mensah's chest. It could have gone anywhere that.
A positive end to the half for the hosts but Zoltan Gera looks to have suffered another knock to his head as play is held up again.
The game is picking up now as Danny Murphy lets in Kenwyne Jones but he scuffs his shot and it trickles through to Mark Schwarzer.
John Mensah hits a ball forward to Kenwyne Jones who flicks it on and Mark Schwarzer gets to it before Lee Cattermole.
Darren Bent smashes the free kick at goal and it hits Mark Schwarzer and rebounds out before Fulham hack the ball clear.
Brede Hangeland gives away a free kick outside the Fulham area so a great chance here for Sunderland.
At long last an attempt on goal as Darren Bent knocks the ball down to Kenwyne Jones who hits a shot just over the Fulham bar.
Sunderland break up field now and John Mensah goes down under a strong tackle from Dickson Etuhu so play is held up again. Roll on half time.
Play resumes with a free kick to Fulham as Zoltan Gera makes his way back on to the field.
A break in play now as Zoltan Gera needs treatment after clashing heads with John Mensah in an aerial dual.
A bit of pressure ends with Michael Turner crossing straight into the hands of Mark Schwarzer as Steve Bruce throws his water bottle to the ground in disgust.
The game has just not got going at all so far and there is nothing much to report from the last few minutes.
Half an hour gone and Steve Bruce will be disappointed that his side have yet to have a shot at goal, while Fulham have not done much better.
Another break by Fulham but Michael Turner does well to shield the ball back to Craig Gordon under pressure from Bobby Zamora.
Fraizer Campbell goes down in the penalty area but the referee Martin Atkinson deems the Sunderland man ran into the defender and nothing is given.
Simon Davies puts a ball into the area and Bobby Zamora lost his marker and sends a looping header just over Craig Gordon's goal.
Alan Hutton puts a great ball into the area for Kenwyne Jones but it is just the wrong side of the big striker and again Fulham clear.
Kieran Richardson is the second Sunderland man booked in the space of four minutes for a miss-timed tackle on Zoltan Gera.
The game is broken up by several quick free kicks which is not helping the flow of things at all.
Kieran Richardson puts the free kick in which is cleared by Fulham. Fraizer Campbell gets round the back of the defence but Nicky Shorey clears again.
Chris Baird is now in the book for Fulham as he puts in a poor tackle on Kieran Richardson.
Alan Hutton goes in a bit late and high on Brede Hangeland so he is the first man booked in the game.
Sunderland's early promise has petered away for the moment as they have yet to test Mark Schwarzer in the Fulham goal.
Mark Schwarzer lets the ball go out but it went off a Fulham player so Sunderland get a corner. Kieran Richardson whips it in, Michael Turner gets his head to it but Mark Schwarzer makes the claim as no forward can get clean contact on the loose ball
It has been a disappointing opening to the game as Fulham seem happy to sit back and defend with Sunderland looking nervy.
Kieran Richardson takes the kick short and quickly but Fulham got back and manage to clear the danger from their own area.
Sunderland get a chance to put a free kick into the box as Kieran Richardson is fouled by Danny Murphy.
Fraizer Campbell almost puts Kenwyne Jones in but Aaron Hughes gets across to put in a timely tackle.
Sunderland have enjoyed more possession but it is Fulham who have gone the closest with that Zoltan Gera effort on a pitch that looks like a mud heap in places.
Bobby Zamora lays the ball into the path of Zoltan Gera and he shoots just wide of the Sunderland goal.
It is all Sunderland at the moment but Alan Hutton's cross into the centre is headed clear by Dickson Etuhu as Fulham keep it tight.
The corner comes to nothing but Sunderland are camped in the Fulham half at the moment with some decent passing play.
Anton Ferdinand wins a corner for Sunderland in these early exchange off Danny Murphy.
Sunderland's early progress is halted as Lee Cattermole brings down Zoltan Gera just inside the Fulham half with nothing much doing in the opening exchanges.
The game is underway at the Stadium of Light and Sunderland are desperate to end a run of 13 games without a victory which has seen them slip to within two points of the relegation places. A win for Fulham will take them up to eighth on 40 points.
Fulham starting XI: Schwarzer, Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Shorey, Duff, Etuhu, Murphy, Davies, Gera, Zamora.
In-form striker Bobby Zamora retains his place for Fulham after shaking off an Achilles injury and Nicky Shorey returns at left-back having been cup-tied in midweek.
Sunderland starting XI: Gordon, Hutton, Turner, Mensah, Ferdinand, Campbell, Cana, Cattermole, Richardson, Jones, Bent.
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce hands midfielder Lee Cattermole a place in the starting XI for the visit of Fulham following his suspension. Anton Ferdinand moves to left-back and George McCartney drops to the bench.
Sunderland may never have a better chance of ending a dismal 13-match winless sequence in the Premier League than when Fulham visit the Stadium of Light on Sunday.
A run of six draws and seven defeats since their excellent Stadium of Light success against Arsenal more than three months ago has left the Black Cats only three points above the drop-zone.
It is in sharp contrast to their hopes in November when they were outside bets to break into a Europa League spot.
Despite the poor run, Sunderland remain difficult to beat on Wearside where only Chelsea and Aston Villa have returned home with all three points this season.
Meanwhile, Fulham have only won one league game away from Craven Cottage all season and endured a long trip to Ukraine in midweek for a Europa League last-32 second leg clash against Shakhtar Donetsk.
The only three-point haul on their travels came on the opening weekend of the campaign when they beat Portsmouth 1-0 at Fratton Park since when they have drawn five matches and lost seven.
Roy Hodgson's team have recovered from a dismal January to beat Pompey, Burnley and Birmingham City this month though as well as grinding out a goalless draw at Bolton Wanderers to move back up to ninth in the table.
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is able to welcome Lee Cattermole back into his squad after the former Middlesbrough and Wigan Athletic midfielder completed his suspension but David Meyler will serve the second of his three-match ban.
Andy Reid (hamstring) and Jordan Henderson (ankle) once again look set to miss out while the Cottagers will be without injured quartet Clint Dempsey, John Paintsil, Andy Johnson (all knee) and Kagisho Dikgacoi (ankle).
Sunderland's winless run shows no sign of ending after the Black Cats were held to a goalless draw at home by Fulham.
The draw extends the Wearsiders run to 14 Premier League games without a win and on this showing it's hard to see where their next victory is coming from.
The hosts offered little in the way of a cutting edge, although Fulham's Mark Schwarzer was the busier of the two keepers - the visitors not managing a single shot on target throughout the whole game.
Not that that statistic will have worried Fulham boss Roy Hodgson, who will probably have been satisfied with the stalemate.
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce will certainly be far more concerned than his counterpart, with the Black Cats chief well aware of his side's need start to picking up wins, especially on home turf.
But in a game which certainly wasn't for the football purists, neither side looked capable of stamping their authority on the encounter.
It was pretty dire fare early on with the hosts clearly suffering from nerves and a lack of confidence.
So much so that they seemed to overly rely on long ball out from the back which were comfortably dealt with by the Cottagers rearguard.
The visitors were hardly pulling up any trees either and were perhaps slightly jaded after their midweek trip to Ukraine to face Shakhtar Donetsk in the Europa League.
But it was the Londoners who had the best of the chances early on.
Zoltan Gera fired just wide of the goal on seven minutes and Bobby Zamora, who had been an injury doubt for the game, should have done better with his header when put in by Simon Davies minutes later.
Sunderland were restricted to bit-part opportunities and Fraizer Campbell's appeals for penalty after he ran into Nicky Shorey were correctly waved away on 26 minutes.
The Black Cats did show more as an attacking force as the half came to a close. Darren Bent forced a save from Schwarzer on 38 minutes while Kenwyne Jones fired over and then scuffed a shot straight at the Australian keeper just before the break.
With half-time approaching there was a nervous moment of comedy proportions for the Wearsiders when Michael Turner let the ball go to Zamora with the forward clearly offside.
However, the assistant referee waited right until the last minute before raising his flag which caused some concern among the home fans.
Things continued in much the same vein after the break with both sides feeding on half chances.
But it was perhaps the Wearsiders who just edged it with Campbell and Bent both firing wide of the mark, while substitute Bolo Zenden and Alan Hutton both fired into the side-netting from tight angles.
Substitute Benjani Mwaruwari was also wayward with his effort just before the final whistle, although had Bent been able to get anything on it it may have been a different story.
But it wasn't to be and Fulham will have left the field delighted to have earned a valuable away point.
Steve Bruce's men, on the other hand, will be ruing their inability to turn a draw into a much-needed win.
Shots off target