SUNDERLAND take on Fulham tonight in the FA Cup fourth round replay and there are plenty of connections between the two sides.
Here are five players who have played for both Fulham and the Black Cats during their playing careers.
5) Lee Clark
When one associates Lee Clark with Sunderland, one incident immediately springs to mind. Having played over 200 games for Newcastle United prior to his switch across the Wearmouth Bridge, Clark infamously attended the 1999 FA Cup final sporting a T-shirt with the slogan ‘’Sad Mackem B****s’’.
Inevitably, Clark never played a game for the club again and was shipped out to Fulham. During his six year spell with the Cottagers, he helped the club achieve promotion, and their highest-ever position of ninth in the top-flight.
He has since claimed that he regrets his cup final stunt, as it erases the good times he enjoyed at the Stadium of Light, which includes helping the club achieve promotion in 98/99 with a record haul of 105 points.
4) Kieran Richardson
A £5.5m signing from Manchester United in July 2007, Kieran Richardson was seen to be something of a coup when Roy Keane persuaded him to sign for Sunderland. Richardson went on to play 149 times for the Black Cats, scoring 15 goals including the winning strike in the Tyne-Wear derby seven years ago.
Having fallen out of favour at the club, he signed for Fulham for a fee believed to be in the region of £2m in August 2012. He was a regular starter for the Cottagers, and appeared 49 times in two years for the club before departing for Aston Villa following their relegation to the second tier last season.
3) Steed Malbranque
A fan favourite at virtually every club he’s played for, Steed Malbranque followed Tottenham team-mates Teemu Tainio and Pascal Chimbonda to the Stadium of Light in July 2008. The Frenchman proved to be an excellent signing for the Black Cats, and played over 100 times before returning to France via Saint-Etienne in 2011.
His time at Fulham was where Malbranque played the best football of his career, arriving in a £4.5m deal from Lyon in 2001. He made an instant impact in his first season, scoring 10 goals. The speedy Frenchman would wreak havoc for Premier League defences during his five years at Craven Cottage, scoring 44 goals in 211 games.
2) Darren Bent
A perennial journeyman in the Premier League, Darren Bent will probably admit that it was at Sunderland where he was truly in his pomp. At just 30 years old, the former Sunderland striker finds himself out of sorts and floating around Championship sides on loan, but during his spell on Wearside, he was one of the most lethal finishers in England.
A £16.5m signing from Spurs, Bent scored 24 league goals in his first season and followed that up with eight in the first six months of the following season prior to his big-money switch to Aston Villa.
By the time he ended up at Fulham, just 30 months later, the former England international was a shell of the player he once was. Looking slow and cumbersome, he scored just three league goals as the Cottagers slipped out of the top-flight with a whimper.
1) Louis Saha
A player that has played for both Newcastle and Sunderland, but such was the little impact he had on either club during his respective spells, that nobody seems to care. At Sunderland, Saha was 34 years old and damaged goods following a history of injury problems throughout his career. Despite signing a year-deal, his contract was mutually terminated six months later after a goalless 14 appearances.
It was at Fulham where Saha made his name in English football, having scored just once in his loan spell at St. James’ Park during the 98/99 season. A £2.1m signing from Metz, the Frenchman duly tore Premier League defences apart. By the time he left for Manchester United in a £12m deal in January 2004, he had scored 63 goals in 142 appearances for the Cottagers. Not too shabby at all.