It’s little wonder considering that the latter hasn’t looked back since the Black Cats recovered from a goal down against Blackburn to stage a late comeback and another victory on Saturday should see them into the top half for the first time this season.
Sunderland at 10/11 (bet365 – £200 free bets) look like a weekend banker considering how much the team have improved under O’Neill. Every player seems to have a new lease of life, including young James McClean who has been excellent in the past few games.
Nicklas Bendtner has also looked sharp and the Arsenal striker rates as a decent bet at 11/2 (Sky Bet bookmaker) to score the first goal of this game against a Swansea team who are nowhere near as potent on the road as they are at the Liberty Stadium.
Yes the Swans beat Arsenal on Sunday thanks to a vibrant display of attacking football although the Gunners aren’t great shakes on the road and Brendan Rodgers’ team have lost six of their away matches this season, conceding 19 goals in the process.
Perhaps the recent win at Villa coupled with last weekend’s win will see them oblige at odds of 7/2 (Paddy Power free bets) although the Stadium of Light is currently a daunting place to play and the last team to visit were league leaders Manchester City who had no points to show for their endeavours.
With O’Neill able to play a settled side that includes the impressive Stephane Sessegnon in an attacking position, it could be worth taking a gamble on the 2/1 that Sunderland lead the match at half-time and full-time.