A managerless Sunderland side begin life without Tony Mowbray this weekend as they face West Bromwich Albion.
Sunderland currently sit 9th in the EFL Championship with eight wins, three draws and eight losses from nineteen games this season.
The Black Cats, last season's playoff semi-finalists, are having an up-and-down campaign in terms of form and have been, when you consider how much they've invested in their squad this season, slightly underachieving.
Such subpar performance levels have led to manager Tony Mowbray being removed from his post this week after roughly a year in charge. Some would say it's a harsh decision after he led the club to a 6th place finish last season in their first campaign back in the Championship but such is the nature of managerial roles these days.
They're currently deep into the hunt for a replacement but for now Mike Dodds will act as interim manager and he has a tough, tough task ahead of him here.
Sunderland are entering this game in poor form having won just one of their last five games, the most recent of which was a 1-1 draw away at Millwall.
Millwall are a side that entered that game bang out of form so having to settle for a draw through a late Jack Clarke penalty was fairly underwhelming.
As a result, The Black Cats are now three games without a win but their home form is slightly more encouraging given they've won three of their last five on home soil.
They're going to need a big performance here in order to avoid defeat and the hope is that a change in manager will spark a reaction from the squad.
West Bromwich Albion currently sit 5th in the EFL Championship with nine wins, five draws and five losses from nineteen games this season.
The Baggies are looking much improved, albeit still inconsistent, outfit compared to last season as they look like firm playoff contenders heading into the Christmas period.
They're entering this game in decent form having won three and lost two of their last five games, the most recent of which was a 1-2 loss at home to Leicester City.
The defeat to Leicester was a painful one given they were minutes from claiming a big point before Harry Winks won the game for the visitors in the fourth minute of added time.
They now have to shake off that disappointment before a big game here and they can take some comfort in the knowledge that their away form is solid having also won three of their last five on the road.
Games against sides fresh off the back of a managerial sacking can always be banana skin fixtures even if said side is in awful form so they have to be wary of Sunderland's threat in this one despite the fact they'll fancy themselves for three points.
For our Sunderland vs. West Brom prediction, we're going for a 1-1 draw.