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How Long Has O'Neill Got Before Fans Turn?
There was a strange feeling the crowd were going to turn on Martin O'Neill last Sunday ... and that day doesn't seem too far away.
The Black Cats still have to play four of the Premier League's top six sides this season and Ladbrokes are tipping us for the drop!
As the battle to stay in the Premier League hots up, Sunderland remain a very lengthy 4/1 to be relegated this season.
And a glance at their remaining fixtures should instill confidence in many a punter backing the Mackems to suffer the drop.
Next up for the Black Cats is a home tie opposing league leaders Manchester United, a side they have not beaten in 21 league attempts, with United winning 16 of those most recent matches.
With Martin O’Neill’s men positioned precariously above the relegation zone, just four points ahead of 18th-place Wigan, another defeat to the impending champions can drag them closer to the mire.
A trip to third-place Chelsea after that is unlikely to improve the survival credentials of the Mackems either, considering they have lost 14 of the last 15 meetings of the teams, including the last four.
And whilst the Black Cats will be fired up for a local derby with Newcastle, the Magpies will be equally so, and can carry better form and home advantage into the fixture also.
Meetings with Everton and Tottenham are amongst their other most difficult to come, whilst a potential six-pointer could materialise when Sunderland face O’Neill’s former club Aston Villa.
But even in matches opposing the likes of Villa, Stoke and Southampton, who are all rooted in the lower half of the Premier League table, Ladbrokes say punters should back the Mackems with extreme caution.
In their most recent outing, Sunderland failed to overcome a Norwich side with 10 men for a majority of the match.
They were lucky to escape that bout with a draw in fact, following the Canaries having a penalty appeal controversially turned down, and their lack of firepower looks certain to contribute to their involvement in a relegation dog fight.
Indeed, in their last seven games, during which Sunderland have failed to record a single win, they have notched only three times from open play.
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