Steve Bruce is among the favourites on the Premier League Sack Race market where punters back the manager that they think will be next out of a job. It hasn’t been the best of starts for the former Wigan and Birmingham boss, who has seen his team collect just two points from their first four matches.
To compound matters, Asamoah Gyan has made a surprise loan move away from the Stadium of Light just a year after joining the club from Rennes and that has left a bad taste in the mouth of Bruce, who spent so much time and energy recruiting the Ghanaian forward.
A win is badly needed against Stoke on Sunday and the Black Cats are 6/4 (Coral – £30 free bet) to claim three points after losing both opening home games to Newcastle and Chelsea. With Gyan having departed, it falls to Nicklas Bendtner to score some goals after arriving on loan from Arsenal and the Dane is 15/2 (Sky Bet – £35 free betting) to break the deadlock.
Stoke might be a bit jet-lagged for their trip to Wearside after playing a Europa League tie in Kiev on Thursday and manager Tony Pulis will be thinking carefully about his team selection for both games. Playing in Europe is a new thing for the Potters and the last thing the Welshman wants is for domestic results to be affected.
City have enjoyed a bright start to the campaign and can be backed at 2/1 with bet365 to make it 11 points from 5 games while the draw can be backed at 9/4 and this wouldn’t be a bad result for an unbeaten Stoke side, many of whom might have been given the run around by Dynamo.