Sunderland 0 - 0 WolvesKO: Sat Apr 14 15:00:00 BST 2012 Ground: Stadium of Light
Referee: M Jones
Martin O'Neill Previews Sunderland v Wolves
Terry Connor's men are already nine points from safety after a run of seven consecutive defeats under the interim boss.
And with Manchester City up next, Wolves are realistically playing for pride as they aim to avoid going down with a whimper.
Connor himself will be desperately seeking a win to avoid the ignominy of going winless throughout his entire spell in charge until the end of the season.
The 49-year-old is one of only four Premier League managers - including his predecessor Mick McCarthy, who suffered the fate at Sunderland - to pick up one point or fewer in his first eight games at the helm.
But there are few teams Wolves would prefer to face than a Sunderland side they have beaten in their last four meetings - that's twice as many victories as they have managed against any other opponents since returning to the top flight in 2009.
Martin O'Neill's Sunderland will be hoping to avoid that outcome to ensure their own season doesn't end on a flat note as they try to end a run of four games without a win in all competitions.
The Black Cats have failed to score in three of those matches but did net three times at Manchester City and will be looking to repeat that form on Saturday in order to move back into the top half of the Premier League.
Sunderland will welcome back Nicklas Bendtner after the forward missed out at Everton last weekend with a back problem.
Phil Bardsley and Lee Cattermole should be fit enough to play the full 90 minutes after being nursed through the trip to Goodison Park, while Wes Brown and John O'Shea remain unavailable.
Wolves are without on-loan Spurs defender Sebastien Bassong as he serves a one-match suspension for his sending off against Arsenal. He is likely to be replaced by Christophe Berra.
Connor will also need to decide whether to recall top scorer Steven Fletcher, who has netted three times in his last two matches against Sunderland.
Possible starting XIs
Sunderland: Mignolet; Bardsley, Kilgallon, Turner, Colback; Larsson, Gardner, Cattermole, McClean; Sessegnon, Bendtner.
Wolves: Hennessey; Zubar, Stearman, Berra, Ward; Kightly, Henry, Davis, Jarvis; Doyle, Fletcher.
Sunderland: Brown, O'Shea.
Wolves: Craddock, Hunt, O'Hara.
Referee: Neil Swarbrick
Sky Bet odds: Sunderland 1/2, Wolves 11/2, Draw 16/5.
Opta Stat: Wolves have won their last four meetings with Sunderland; three of which have been by a one goal margin.
Sunderland 0 - 0 Wolves: Martin O'Neill Says Players Seemed "Jaded"
Terry Connor's Wolves ended their seven-game losing run, but despite a spirited display, relegation now looks inevitable. They sit eight points from safety with just four games to play.
Sunderland, for their part, seemed like their minds were elsewhere at times - perhaps at Wembley where they could have spent the day if only they had beaten Everton in an FA Cup quarter-final replay late last month.
An uneventful first half saw both sides surrender possession on a regular basis as there seemed to be a real end-of-season feel to the contest.
But there were better opportunities for both teams after the break, few better than the headed chance that fell to winger James McClean just six yards out.
Craig Gardner crossed to the far post where McClean stooped to head the ball at goal but Wayne Hennessey saved with his legs at point-blank range.
And the visitors had an excellent chance of their own 10 minutes from time when substitute Matt Jarvis crossed only for Steven Fletcher to head too close to Simon Mignolet while unmarked seven yards from goal.
Ultimately, neither side did enough to win the game and Sunderland's impressive season under Martin O'Neill looks to be ending on a flat note.
The best chance of the first half fell to McClean with 16 minutes gone when Sebastian Larsson and Stephane Sessegnon combined to play him into space on the left side of the penalty area.
However, with just keeper Hennessey to beat, the Republic of Ireland international shot tamely into the side-netting to let the visitors off the hook.
Larsson saw a curling 22nd-minute free-kick easily saved by Hennessey, who later gratefully plucked McClean's deflected effort out of the air after almost being wrong-footed.
In the meantime, Wolves had failed to punish Mignolet for spilling Anthony Forde's effort from distance and Michael Kightly dragged a shot wide from a promising position.
But as the half wore on, it was the Black Cats who started to dominate and full-back Phil Bardsley whistled a skidding drive just wide a minute before the break.
Sunderland returned in determined mood, but were all too often let down by their final ball as they failed to build upon a series of promising beginnings.
Sessegnon embarked upon a trademark high-octane run into the visitors' penalty area with five minutes of the half played, but his shot was well-blocked by defender Christophe Berra.
The home fans were growing increasingly impatient as their side failed to trouble Hennessey despite enjoying plenty of the ball, and their mood was not improved by the sight of Mignolet having to dive low to his left to keep out Forde's well-struck shot.
Mignolet might have been picking the ball out of his net two minutes later after Sylvan Ebanks-Blake found space in the box, but drilled his effort wastefully wide.
Fletcher headed weakly at the Belgium international from Stephen Ward's 66th-minute cross with Wanderers enjoying their best spell of the game, but Nicklas Bendtner could do little better from McClean's ball at the other end three minutes later.
But the Irishman looked certain to put the home side ahead with 17 minutes remaining when he stopped to meet Gardner's cross at the far post, but saw Hennessey make a fine block.
However, it was Mignolet who had to be at his best to keep out Fletcher's 81st-minute header to deny the visitors the three points they desperately needed.
Larsson capped a disappointing afternoon for the home side when he somehow turned Sessegnon's driven 89th-minute cross over the bar when it looked easier to score, and O'Neill's men might have paid the price seconds later.
Substitute David Edwards found time and space to send a dipping volley inches wide of Mignolet's right post, although the reprieve did not spare the home side a chorus of boos on the final whistle.
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