Sunderland have some tricky fixtures over the festive period but what about our closest relegation rivals? Thankfully we won't have the 'bottom at Christmas' tag, but 'tis it the season to be bottom shortly after?
Manchester united (a)
Zlatan is looking a bit difficult to contend with right now. United are unbeaten in nine and without a home defeat in the last three months, you can understand why most are writing this off as a home win. It wouldn't be the first time they dropped a couple of points at home, but they probably won't, will they?
Forecast - 0 points
Hull (v Man City away) - 0 points
Swansea (v West Ham at home) - 3 points
Palace (v Watford away) - 1 point
Burnley (v Boro at home) - 3 points
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This is the big one of the lot. Burnley are on the same points as Leicester right now, so I should really be including the Champions in this list. But I'm not. Anyway, this is your typical Sunderland lose after picking up a great result at home sort of game, with Burnley probably not having as many points on the board as perhaps their performances have deserved. Despite that, red and white goggles on, I think we'll take a very important point here.
Forecast - 1 point
Hull (v Everton at home) - 0 points
Swansea (v Bournemouth at home) - 1 point
Palace (v Arsenal away) - 0 points
Burnley (v Sunderland at home) - 1 point
Providing we approach this match in a slightly more positive way than we did in the reverse fixture, our home from gives us a decent opportunity. Patrick van Aanholt might have snatched a point against the comprehensive league leaders, and you may argue it would have been a deserved(ish) point, so there is no reason not to think we can't put up a similar performance against Liverpool. Coutinho-less, it's an opportunity and one which I think will earn us another vital point. Maybe. Hopefully. Possibly. Erm.
Forecast - 1 point
Hull (v West Brom away) - 0 points
Swansea (v Palace away) - 1 point
Palace (v Swansea at home) - 1 point
Burnley (v Man City away) - 0 points
So, assuming my forecasts are right, this would be the table at the bottom;
Burnley - 21 points
Palace - 17 points
Sunderland - 16 points
Swansea - 16 points
Hull - 12 points
Not much looks like changing over the next three games, not in my view anyway. Hull, who look like a team set for the drop, may find themselves further adrift with Burnley opening up a reason gap between themselves and a bottom three which would, unfortunately, include us. Perhaps we can sneak a win against Burnley which would change the picture considerably.
'Tis the season to be bottom? Perhaps not for Sunderland. Sorry not sorry Hull.