Sunderland look for three precious points in the Premier League survival battle today – with Stoke City the visitors to the Stadium of Light.
The Black Cats’ recent home form has been much improved, and their record at home to the Potters also gives real hope for this afternoon’s match.
In the last five meetings on Wearside, Sunderland have won four and drawn the othe.
Indeed, Stoke, despite a League Cup victory two seasons ago, are yet to claim a league victory at the Stadium of Light.
Here we look back at the last five clashes on Wearside.
Sunderland 2 Stoke City 0
November 28, 2015
For three-and-half months, Sunderland had endured a sorry existence inside the Premier League drop zone, but suddenly there was light at the end of the tunnel.
Maiden back-to-back victories of the season moved Sunderland out of the bottom three for the first time.
Sunderland were unquestionably aided by the dismissal of Stoke skipper Ryan Shawcross early in the second half after the opening 45 minutes had been predictably cagey, with just one real chance apiece.
Yet they still faced an uphill battle to break down a Stoke defence, which had kept clean sheets in six of their previous seven games.
But Black Cats boss Sam Allardyce chance his arm with his attack-minded substitutions and they eventually paid off with two big goals in the final 10 minutes - for the second successive game, Sunderland coming away with the points late in the day.
Patrick van Aanholt’s first Premier League goal was a beauty as he swept Adam Johnson’s short free-kick into the bottom corner, before substitute Duncan Watmore - who had worried the Potters defence throughout - sealed the points moments later.
Sunderland 3 Stoke City 1
October 4, 2014
Steven Fletcher ended a nine-month drought to secure Sunderland’s first Premier League victory of the campaign.
Fletcher’s brace, his first goals in the Premier League since the 2-2 draw at Cardiff City the previous December, coupled with Connor Wickham’s maiden top flight goal of the campaign ended Sunderland’s wait to break their duck after a 3-1 victory against Stoke.
Wickham gave Sunderland an ideal start by heading home Fletcher’s fifth minute cross, but the Potters fought back when Charlie Adam fired through the legs of John O’Shea.
But Fletcher’s header gave Sunderland the half-time advantage and after a cagey second half when the Black Cats were happy to hit Stoke on the counter-attack, the Scotland international doubled his tally from Wickham’s superb run.
Sunderland 1 Stoke City 0
January 29, 2014
Adam Johnson’s sixth goal in six games propelled Sunderland out of the bottom three for the first time since August after triumphing in their relegation clash with fellow strugglers Stoke City.
But Sunderland made hard work of their first home win in the Premier League since November against the 10-man Potters.
Johnson gave Sunderland the lead in the 17th minute when he coolly slid home the rebound after Fabio Borini’s shot was spilled by Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic.
The Black Cats were then indebted to Vito Mannone for keeping their lead after the keeper produced two superb saves before the interval to deny Peter Crouch and Ryan Shawcross.
Stoke were reduced to 10 men early in the second half when Steven Nzonzi was handed a second yellow card.
Jozy Altidore immediately went close to adding a second, but then the nervy Black Cats were forced to hang on during the finale for a crucial victory.
Sunderland 1 Stoke City 1
May 6, 2013
John O’Shea was the unlikely saviour as 10-man Sunderland rescued a point by pegging back relegation rivals Stoke City.
The skipper grabbed a precious equaliser in the fight for Premier League survival, with only his second Sunderland goal providing just rewards for a dogged second half display from the Black Cats.
It followed a horror show in the opening 45 minutes from Paolo Di Canio’s side, as Stoke took an early lead through Jon Walters before Craig Gardner was handed a straight red card - ruling the midfielder out of the final two games of the campaign.
But Sunderland were vastly improved in the second half and after drawing level, could have even won it, with Danny Rose’s shot hitting the woodwork.
The Potters who drew first blood in the ninth minute when Jon Walters was able to meet Charlie Adam’s corner with a free header four yards out. Walters’ initial effort crashed off Danny Graham, but the Ireland international pounced on the rebound to smash it high into the net.
But in the 63rd minute, Sunderland drew level when Seb Larsson curled in a corner from the left which was inadvertantly flicked on at the near post by Dean Whitehead. O’Shea managed to control his shot at the far post to tuck it beyond Asmir Begovic from three yards out.
Sunderland 4 Stoke City 0
September 18, 2011
Sunderland demolished Stoke to claim their first victory of the season.
The Black Cats roared into a 3-0 lead within 28 first-half minutes to lay the foundation for just their third Premier League win of 2011 at the Stadium of Light.
Titus Bramble’s first strike for the club gave them a fifth-minute advantage and an own goal from former Newcastle team-mate Jonathan Woodgate - from an excellent Seb Larsson cross - six minutes later left Stoke, who were unbeaten in nine games in all competitions before kick-off but appeared drained after their midweek efforts in Europe, in deep trouble.
Craig Gardner made it 3-0 with a deflected shot and fellow former Birmingham City midfielder Larsson curled home a fine 58th-minute free-kick to leave those who had stayed away - the match was watched by a crowd of just 32,296 - regretting their decision.
The home crowd taunted an out-of-sorts Peter Crouch - who had spurned Sunderland’s summer bid to sign him - with chants of “what a waste of money”.
Only a fine Begovic save denied Gardner a fifth goal for Sunderland.