Sunderland have already lost against two of the newly-promoted teams this season, so Sam Allardyce will know Saturday’s opponents Watford can’t be taken lightly.
Promoted teams have been our Achilles heel over recent years – just one win from six against the three sides who came up last season, and two defeats from two games already this campaign against Norwich and Bournemouth.
That’s an abysmal record and as we’re back in the bottom three, that needs to change on Saturday.
Watford are sitting very comfortably in 10th spot and that’s probably a higher position than they would have expected themselves, if you’d asked them at the start of the season where they’d be in December.
The big warning for Sunderland is that Watford’s form away from home is good, with three victories recorded – one of them in their last away game at Aston Villa. They’ll see Saturday’s game as another chance to win against a team at the wrong end of the table.
Captain Troy Deeney has found his scoring boots after a slow start and his partnership with Odion Ighalo is dangerous.
But just as impressive is their defensive record, with manager Quique Flores having them well-drilled and organised, meaning they have conceded just 16 goals in 15 games.
In Sunderland’s last home game against Stoke, there wasn’t much between the two teams, with Ryan Shawcross’ red card the turning point, and I expect a similar game on Saturday, as Watford will also be difficult to break down.
But if it takes us until the last 10 minutes to win the game again, I don’t think anyone will worry too much.