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Black Cats clawing their way to Premier League survival

Sunderland, 5/1 with Coral to be relegated, have been drawn into another battle to avoid Premier League relegation, following their successful survival scalp last season.

The Black Cats face another bid to beat the drop this term after haplessly losing to fellow strugglers QPR in their last outing, with their manager-less London rivals claiming a maiden away triumph in league action at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland boss Gus Poyet has faced criticism from the red and white faithful, following his side’s fourth home defeat in six outings on Wearside.

The under-fire head coach frustratingly hit back at those questioning his style of play and tactics during this current campaign.

“I don’t know if it was football. I don’t define that football, I define that a desperate team running about trying to be nice with the fans,” said Poyet. “Here everyone wants the players to play forward and to get rebounds, and to get corners.”

In the wake of their recent poor showing, Sunderland midfielder Sebastian Larsson admitted that his toothless team need to find more momentum and avoid self-destructing, if they are to secure their top-flight status for another season.

“It’s a game we shouldn’t have lost, but we did, so we can only blame ourselves. It was down to us players on the pitch and we didn’t do enough,” said the Sweden international.

“I’ve been here long enough to know that we tend to do these things at times, and we need to figure out why because it shouldn’t keep happening.”

With new signing and ex-England international Jermain Defoe starting to find his feet on Wearside, striking twice already, the Stadium of Light outfit would appear to have enough firepower to possibly steer clear of relegation.

The battling Black Cats were on an impressive four-match unbeaten streak before their latest defeat, but another under-par performance proved Poyet’s men are far from safety, with only 13 fixtures still left to play.

Sunderland are strongly odds-on 1/9 to stay up, despite picking up just one victory in their previous eight Premier League clashes.