Sunderland are flying high in the Championship this season and will be aiming to stamp a huge marker on the playoff spots with another win this weekend as Bristol City make the lengthy trip up to the Stadium of Light this weekend.
After being one of the favourites to earn a spot in the playoffs at the start of the season, Sunderland have finally found their groove in the Championship and a spot straight back into the Premier League now doesn't seem so unrealistic. The club are heading into this one off the back of two wins in a row since a narrow loss to Fulham at home in the FA Cup fourth round replay. Patrick Roberts got the winner against Reading two weeks ago, before Luke O'Nien got a goal against Queens Park Rangers in a stunning 3-0 win in London where Jack Clarke netted a 10-minute brace at the end of the game.
The Black Cats are now up into fifth in the league and sit behind Luton Town just above them by two points. Middlesbrough are a bit further away in third with the fellow North East side now six clear. Tony Mowbray has still managed to guide his men to sit above Watford in sixth by one point with a game in hand. Sunderland's main concern will be Millwall down in seventh after a 1-1 draw with them not that long ago.
As for Bristol, they are up into 16th after improving in the past few weeks. Nigel Pearson's men were hovering just above the relegation zone not that long ago, and there is a feeling they could be sucked back into this mix after a 1-1 draw with Wigan Athletic. Robert Atkinson scored for the club that day before a Wigan equaliser.
The Robins have a game in hand over QPR just below them in the table and the 1-1 draw at Ashton Gate against Wigan keeps them 10 clear of the drop zone.
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