Sunderland is already a 6 pointer!

On Saturday Crystal Palace travel to the Stadium of Light to take on a struggling Sunderland team in a game that I think is already a 6 pointer.

There is a saying in football that points won in August count just as much as points won in April. Sunderland have struggled so far this season and as we have got off to a mix start this season it will be vital to get 3 points off of a team who is expected to be in a relegation battle come the end of the season.

In my opinion we are already 5 points down on the total we should have as we dropped 3 points at home to West Brom and 2 at home to Bournemouth, two games I expected us to win and equally Sunderland should expect to beat us on Saturday as they are on home soil.

Looking at our fixture list I think we basically need to get to the 40 points mark (which despite popular belief does not guarantee safety) before our 30th game at Chelsea on April 1st.

Our run in is horrendous and that is before any cup run by us or other teams which might cause fixture congestion. Our final 8 games are:

Chelsea (a)
Southampton (a)
Arsenal (h)
Leicester (h)
Liverpool (a)
Burnley (h)
Man City (a)
Hull (h)
Man Utd (a)

Of course Burnley and Hull are games we should win and I would hope to get at least a draw against Leicester and Arsenal at home but the rest? Tough, tough games especially as they are away and teams who will be fighting for the title or Champions League places.

As I write this I would hope to get at least 8 points from a possible 27 points.

As we saw last year, even games we think we should win become difficult when in the middle of a bad run. I wouldn’t want to go into April needing 6 points for survival with those teams to play even if Burnley and Hull should (hopefully) be down by then. A relegated team is not an easy victory.

So this weekend’s game is, even at this stage, a must win game for us especially given how stretched we are at the back!

We’ve been given a relatively easy start to this season, compared to how the run in looks, we need to ‘make hay while the sun shines’ because I can see the clouds ahead.