Sunderland search for a second successive Premier League win against Hull City today.
Boosted by the first victory of the campaign at Bournemouth last time out, three more points this afternoon would move the Black Cats to within two points of the third-bottom Tigers.
But, if recent history is any guide, any win will have to be hard-earned.
Here we look back at Hull’s five visits to the Stadium of Light – two wins in the last two matches for the visitors.
Sunderland 1 Hull City 3
December 26, 2014
Ex-Black Cats boss Steve Bruce oversaw a fourth consecutive victory over his former club.
Gus Poyet’s Black Cats suffered only their fifth loss of the Premier League campaign, as struggling Hull repeated their trick from last season of inflicting defeat on Sunderland immediately after the Wearsiders had triumphed against Newcastle United.
The defeat was all the more galling for Sunderland after they had taken the lead inside the opening 30 seconds against a Hull side who looked utterly devoid of confidence, when Adam Johnson pounced on Curtis Davies’s catastrophic error to round keeper Allan McGregor and score easily.
But Hull pulled level when Gaston Ramirez’s 25-yard shot hit a divot and deceived Costel Pantilimon, bouncing over the Romanian’s dive.
Even then, Sunderland were left aggrieved going into half-time level after referee Andre Marriner waved away a couple of strong penalty appeals for handball, with Alex Bruce and Stephen Quinn surviving strong appeals.
But Sunderland produced arguably their worst 45 minutes of the season in the second half, with centre-back James Chester heading Hull ahead from a Ramirez corner and the Black Cats struggling to string two passes together.
Nikica Jelavic sealed Hull’s victory in stoppage time when he took advantage of Sunderland’s search for an equaliser by netting on the counter-attack, collecting ex-Sunderland utility man Ahmed Elmohamady’s pass on the break and sliding the ball beyond Pantilimon.
Sunderland 0 Hull City 2
February 8, 2014
Sunderlandece suffered post-derby blues against Hull City for the second time in the 2013-14 Premier League season as ex-Black Cats boss Steve Bruce enjoyed a successful return to the Stadium of Light.
The four-game unbeaten league run for Gus Poyet’s side came to an abrupt end after Sunderland – fresh from a 3-0 derby triumph at Newcastle United – never recovered from the fourth minute sending off of Wes Brown - dismissed for the third time that season for bringing down Shane Long when he was clean through on goal after latching onto a suicidal back pass from Phil Bardsley.
Long gave Hull the lead when he glanced home Jake Livermore’s shot in the 16th minute, with the £7million January signing going close to doubling his tally before the break when his rasping long-range drive came back off the post.
Sunderland, left lying just one point and one place above the drop zone, huffed and puffed to little effect, with Long’s strike partner Nikica Jelavic getting the crucial second goal just after the hour mark.
Maynor Figueroa came forward and scuffed a shot from 25 yards which took a wicked deflection off Santiago Vergini and landed perfectly for Jelavic to head into the top corner from 10 yards.
Sunderland 4 Hull City 1
September 12, 2009
Sunderland smashed four goals past Hull City, with Darren Bent scoring twice to make it four goals in five games for the club record signing.
The £10million striker struck in the 13th and 66th minutes – his first from the penalty spot after a Craig Fagan handball; his second after springing the offside trap, surging down the right and firing through Boaz Myhill on the edge of the six-yard box.
Sunderland dominated the first half but only had Bent’s goal to show for it and, just before half-time, the Stadium of Light crowd was stunned by Kamil Zayatte’s headed equaliser from six yards out.
The Red and Whites emerged in the second half looking as though they meant business, though, and Andy Reid put the Wearsiders ahead again in the 49th minute when he fired through a crowded area after a goalmouth scramble.
Bent then added Sunderland’s third and former Hull City man Michael Turner – on his debut – killed off the game as a contest in the 75th minute when he powered home from six yards out.
New signings John Mensah and Paulo Da Silva also got run-outs as subs on a day in which the Wearsiders confirmed their place in the top half of the Premier League table.
Sunderland 1 Hull City 0
April 18, 2009
Sunderland secured all three points for caretaker boss Ricky Sbragia to boost the Black Cats’ survival hopes – and give the Tigers serious concerns going into the final five matches of the season.
In the first ever top-flight meeting of the clubs on Wearside, Sunderland completed a double against the Tigers, following their impressive 4-1 away success just before Christmas.
Djibril Cisse was the hero, netting the only goal in first-half stoppage time.
Andy Reid sent over a cross, defender Danny Collins flicked it on and Cisse arrived to slam home at the back post.
Sunderland were the better side and had a Kenwyne Jones goal disallowed for offside, while Daryl Murphy rattled the post with an effort and Jones was just wide with a header.
Geovanni, with a dipping volley, and Caleb Folan, with a late header which ended just wide of the post, produced Hull’s best efforts.
Sunderland 2 Hull City 0
March 17, 2007
Roy Keane’s Black Cats made it 12 games unbeaten with a well-deserved victory to keep up their strong push for promotion out of the Championship.
The win took Sunderland up to second place against the struggling visitors.
The opening goal came after just three minutes when on-loan Manchester United centre-back Jonny Evans, outstanding since arriving at the club in January, headed home a Dean Whitehead free-kick.
Sunderland ran the show throughout but Hull fought gamely to stay in the game and were only killed off in the final minute when the second goal came, keeper Boaz Myhill messing up with a pass from the back and Stern John rounding the hapless goalie and tapping in to make it a league double for Keane, following a 1-0 win away earlier in the season.