Sunderland are eager to make it two wins on the trot today – and Stoke City offer perhaps their best chance to achieve the feat, if past history is anything to go by.
Since moving to the Stadium of Light in 1997, Sunderland have hosted the Potters 11 times in the league – and are still unbeaten, with seven wins and four draws.
Here we look back on the last 11 league meetings on Wearside.
2014/15: Sunderland 3 Stoke 1
Eleven days after losing 2-1 at home to Stoke in the League Cup, Sunderland produced one of their best performances of the season to beat the Potters 3-1, climbing four places to 11th in the process. Charlie Adam cancelled out Connor Wickham’s early opener, but Steven Fletcher’s double won the day.
2013/14: Sunderland 1 Stoke 0
Sunderland rose out of the drop zone for the first time in months, with Adam Johnson tapping home the only goal on 17 minutes - after keeper Asmir Begovic failed to deal with a Seb Larsson shot. Stoke’s cause was not helped by Steve N’Zonzi;s dismissal, with 37 minutes to play.
2012/13: Sunderland 1 Stoke 1
Sunderland rallied for a precious point in their Premier League survival fight, despite playing almost two-thirds of the game with 10 men, following Craig Gardner’s red card for a bad challenge on Charlie Adam. Jonathan Walters had Stoke ahead early on, but Paolo Di Canio’s Black Cats fought gamely and merited their point, thanks to John O’Shea’s six-yard shot after a Seb Larsson free-kick.
2011/12: Sunderland 4 Stoke 0
Sunderland caught the Potters at the right time, just after an away tie in Europe, and cruised to a 4-0 victory for their welcome first win of the season. Titus Bramble’s fifth-minute goal opened the floodgates for Steve Bruce’s side, with a Jonathan Woodgate own goal and a Craig Gardner effort making it 3-0 before the half hour. Seb Larsson hit a fourth on 58 minutes.
2010/11: Sunderland 2 Stoke 0
The Black Cats got back on track after their 5-1 derby humiliation at Newcastle to rise four places to seventh in the Premier League. Big-money signing Asamoah Gyan - making his first league start - was the hero, netting after nine minutes and clinching victory with a volleyed second goal four minutes from time. Sunderland could even afford a missed Steed Malbranque penalty, while Stoke had Ryan Shawcross sent off.
2009/10: Sunderland 0 Stoke 0
A point apiece in a dour clash ended Sunderland’s three-game losing run. Frazier Campbell squandered the best opportunity for the hosts, failing to convert a Bolo Zeiden cross, while Stoke had two clear chances, Craig Gordon keeping out a Dean Whitehead strike and Kenwyne Jones clearing in a goalmouth melee as Mamady Sidibe was set to score.
2008/09: Sunderland 2 Stoke 0
Two goals in the final 12 minutes earned Roy Keane’s Black Cats a morale-boosting win, as they rallied from the disappointment of a midweek FA Cup exit at Blackburn. Kenwyne Jones finally made the breakthrough with a 78th-minute header, with David Healy adding a last-gasp second. Stoke had to make three substitutions for injuries by the half-hour mark, and saw Matthew Etherington sent off for a needless trip on Danny Collins with the score 0-0.
2006/07: Sunderland 2 Stoke 2
The promotion-bound Black Cats made it 11 games unbeaten in the Championship when Daryl Murphy pounced for a last-gasp equaliser. Midfielder Darel Russell and defender Carl Hoefkens twice had the Potters in front, but Dean Whitehead and Murphy made it all square
2004/05: Sunderland 1 Stoke 0
Mick McCarthy’s Championship title winners enjoyed a final-day celebration, with the trophy presented to the team after the game, in front of a sell-out crowd. Carl Robinson bagged the only goal in the 57th minute, taking Sunderland’s points tally to 94 with 29 wins and seven draws.
2003/04: Sunderland 1 Stoke 1
Loan striker Darren Byfield was the saviour for Sunderland against an extremely hard-working Stoke side, who defended well after taking a 13th-minute lead with a Sebastian Svard goal. Byfield levelled midway through the second half, but Sunderland rarely looked like grabbing a winner against a defence well-marshalled by Gerry Taggart.
1997/98: Sunderland 3 Stoke 0
Peter Reid’s men finished off their home First Division campaign with a convincing win against a relegation-bound Potters side, managed by ex-Sunderland boss Alan Durban. Darren Williams’ rare goal had Sunderland ahead in six minutes, with Kevin Phillips striking twice in the second half to thrill a sell-out 41,214 crowd. Sunderland stayed second, but a midweek defeat at Ipswich proved costly and sent them into the play-offs, which ended with a heartbreaking shoot-out defeat to Charlton at Wembley.