With both teams on fine runs of form in their respective leagues, Peterborough and Sunderland will fancy their chances going into Sunday’s FA Cup tie at London Road.
It will be the first meeting of the sides since 1994, when Sunderland won 3-1 at the same venue.
Peterborough have only ever beaten Sunderland once in their history – a 5-2 win in Division One back in 1992 – and that is a run that looks unlikely to change at the weekend.
Sunderland have been on great form since Martin O’Neill took over, picking up 13 points from a possible 18, and O’Neill claimed in midweek that the team feel ‘unbeatable’.
Even given the tendency of the top teams to rest players in cup ties, the Black Cats’ manager is unlikely to disrupt things too much as he seeks to prolong their four match unbeaten run.
Posh have conceded three or more goals on six occasions this season, and have kept only two clean sheets all season – both against teams in the bottom three.
While O’Neill might be tempted to rest a few star players, a long injury list means his options might be limited. Ji could start up front after his winning goal against Man City, with Nicklas Bendtner and Stephane Sessegnon candidates to be rested.
Craig Gordon and Michael Turner both returned to reserve team action in midweek following lengthy spells on the sidelines to give O’Neill more options at the back, but Lee Cattermole and Jack Colback both picked up knocks against Wigan and may not be risked.
Nevertheless, we are likely to see a strong Sunderland side on Sunday and this makes odds of 9/10 on a Sunderland win look appealing.
Peterborough are dangerous opponents but could be undone by a lack of solidity at the back. Posh have conceded three or more goals on six occasions this season, and have kept only two clean sheets all season – both against teams in the bottom three.
Although they have scored 44 goals this season, the second highest in the Championship, they have conceded 41, which is the third worst defensive record in the league.
This stat makes both teams to score at 3/5 look like a good opportunity, while Peterborough to win to nil at 11/2 will have far fewer takers.
If both teams score there will have to be at least three goals in a Sunderland win and, at odds of 7/4, punters who use their free £25 bet for joining bwin to back an away success with over 2.5 goals stand to win £68.75.
Finally, for those who see things differently, Peterborough are underdogs to win the game, priced at 57/20 with bwin, while the draw is 5/2.
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