Sunderland v West Brom: Good omen for Black Cats as Tony Pulis has never won at the SoL, and his teams have scored just twice in 10 visits

Fabio Borini gets in a shot in last season's 0-0 draw at home to Tony Pulis's West Bromwich Albion. Picture by Frank Reid
Fabio Borini gets in a shot in last season's 0-0 draw at home to Tony Pulis's West Bromwich Albion. Picture by Frank Reid
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Sunderland hope for three points against West Bromwich Albion today - and the omens suggest that they will not lose.

Baggies boss Tony Pulis has had 10 previous league games in charge of visiting teams at the Stadium of Light, and he is yet to secure a single win.

Indeed, his sides have only scored twice, with Sebastian Svard netting for Stoke in a 1-1 First Division draw in March 2004 and Jonathan Walters giving the Potters the lead in a 1-1 Premier League share in May 2013.

Sunderland have managed 11 goals in those 10 games, including four in one, so don’t expect too many goals today – if history is any guide.

Pulis first came up against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light with Stoke in the 2003/04 season.

Midfielder Svard, on loan from Arsenal, had Stoke in front from the 13th minute and they defended admirably before being pegged back for a draw by a Darren Byfield strike on 69 minutes.

The following season, Sunderland celebrated winning the Championship title, edging a close-fought final game of the season by a single Carl Robinson goal on 57 minutes, watched by a near full house of 47,350 close to double the attendance of the previous season’s clash.

It was the last game of Pulis’s first reign at Stoke.

On his return to the Britannia, he took the Potters into the Premier League in 2008, and reacqainted himself with the Stadium of Light in February, 2009. when two late goals from Kenwyne Jones (79 minutes) and David Healy, in stoppage time, saw Sunderland home 2-0. Stoke had been suffering from the 65th-minute dismissal of Matt Etherington.

In 2009/10, Pulis managed a draw in a dour Monday night battle, with Craig Gordon and Stoke’s ex-Sunderland keeper, Thomas Sorensen, both keeping clean sheets.

The Black Cats got the better of Pulis’s Stoke in 2010/11, as Asamoah Gyan netted early and late, in the ninth and 87th minutes, to sink the visitors 2-0. Stoke were hampered as the tried to level by the 82nd-minute red card for Ryan Shawcross.

The next season, 2011/12, Stoke were hammered 4-0 at the Stadium of Light, having had a tough Europa League game three days earlier.

Titus Bramble and a Jonathan Woodgate own goal had Sunderland two up in 11 minutes, with Craig Gardner and Seb Larsson finishing off the visitors.

Pulis, though, recovered to gain a point from Stoke’s late-season 2012/13 campaign.

Jonathan Walters had Sunderland behind on nine minutes, but John O’Shea was the unlikely saviour with a second-half equaliser, a brave response following a red card for Craig Gardner in the 35th minute.

Pulis left Stoke at the end of that season and bided his time before taking over at Crystal Palace in November 2013.

He was at the Stadium of Light the following March and a typically robust Pulis-style performance saw Palace ease their relegation fears slightly with a dour 0-0 draw which kept the Red and Whites in trouble.

Pulis quit Palace before the start of 2014/15 after not being supported in the transfer window, ending up at West Brom, who managed the almost customary goalless draw at the Stadium of Light on February 21.

It was 0-0 again last season when Pulis’s Baggies came north last season, in April, as both sides battled to steer clear of trouble.

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