Since Sunderland sacked Paolo Di Canio, they've moved off the bottom of the table -- but unfortunately not achieved much more than that. Having picked up four points from their opening ten games, the Black Cats are still firmly rooted in the bottom three, five points adrift of safety.
They host Manchester City at the Stadium of Light on Sunday, and it's hard to see them being able to put up much of a fight. The vistors were outstanding in their victory over CSKA Moscow in midweek, and may well have found their groove under Manuel Pellegrini.
Sunderland have a slight boost in that City will be without Vincent Kompany, Stevan Jovetić and David Silva, while Fernandinho and Matija Nastasić are both in doubt. However the Black Cats' boss Gus Poyet has some absentees too, with Andrea Dossena and Lee Cattermole both suspended and goalkeeper Keiren Westwood facing a fitness test on a neck problem.
Sunderland injuries and suspensions
Out: Andrea Dossena (suspended), Lee Cattermole (suspended). In doubt: Keiren Westwood (neck).
Manchester City injuries and suspensions
Out: Vincent Kompany (groin), Stevan Jovetić (calf), David Silva (calf). In doubt: Fernandinho (knock), Matija Nastasić.
Match Date/Time: Sunday, 2:05 p.m. local, 9:05 a.m. ET
Venue: Stadium of Light, Sunderland, England
TV: NBC Sports Network, DirecTV (U.S.), Sportsnet (Canada), Sky Sports 1/HD (U.K.)
Online: NBC Sports Live Extra (U.S.), Sky Go (U.K.)