Sunderland still deep in the relegation mire despite derby victory

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So often a victory over your biggest rivals would be just the boost needed for any side threatened with relegation to spark a recovery mission, but for Sunderland there is still plenty to do.

Priced at 13/5 to fall from the top tier for the first time in nine years after their 1-0 victory over Newcastle on Saturday, Dick Advocaat’s men are now three points clear of the drop zone.

If ever there was a catalyst to trigger an upturn in form, then a derby day win should be just the ticket.

That victory over the Easter weekend was a fourth straight triumph over the Toon for the Black Cats, and what followed those wins could be a worrying sign of things to come.

Seven games are all their Dutch manager has left to consolidate the Stadium of Light outfit, with plenty of the struggling sides showing an upturn in form of late.

Looking at the seven fixtures that succeeded their last three triumphs over their north-east neighbours, the Wearsiders seemed to struggle after the adulation of those wins.

A total of just 16 points was the return from the seven matches that followed victories over Newcastle over the last couple of seasons.

With that averaging out at just over five points a season, it is clear they cannot rest on their laurels.

Deliver that amount in the remaining fixtures and Sunderland will finish on 34 points for the campaign, a total that could well leave them deep in the mire.

And with visits to both Chelsea and Arsenal wrapping up their campaign, Sunderland fans will certainly want their business done sooner rather than later.

That’s not to say the other matches they have left will be easy.

Of all the clubs Advocaat’s men have to face, only basement club Leicester reside in the bottom eight of the table.

Clashes against in-form Everton and Crystal Palace could pour scorn on any suggestion that Sunderland are on their way to solidifying their Premier League status.

There is still plenty of water to run under the bridge yet, but at 13/5 Sunderland could still be the value to succumb to the relegation scrap.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.