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Premier League Preview: Stoke - Sunderland

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Poyet: I'll need a full summer to transform Sunderland
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Poyet: I'll need a full summer to transform Sunderland
Premier League struggler Sunderland will go in search of just its third away win of 2013 when the club visits Stoke on Saturday.

New Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has won three of his five matches in charge, with home league triumphs over rivals Newcastle and Manchester City particularly encouraging.

The challenge for Poyet is now to get his side performing on its travels, with the Stadium of Light outfit - which sits second from bottom in the table - possessing a dreadful record on the road.

Of 15 matches away from home in all competitions this year, the club has won just two, with the last coming in April at St James' Park.

A tumultuous 11 months has seen four different Sunderland managers – although Kevin Ball was only employed in a caretaker role – in charge, but midfielder Adam Johnson hopes a corner has finally been turned.

"That's three wins out of three at home and we're in the quarterfinals of the [Capital One] Cup as well," Johnson told the club's official website. "We've had some tough fixtures at home and now we play two of the teams in and around us away from home.

"Hopefully the lads who are away [on international duty] can come back fit and we can take that into the next couple of games."

Italian Emanuele Giaccherini scored for his country in a 2-2 friendly draw with Nigeria in London on Monday, while Sebastian Larsson saw his Sweden side defeated 4-2 on aggregate by Portugal in their World Cup playoff one day later.

Sunderland will face another side which is struggling, with Stoke dropping to 17th after a 3-3 draw at Swansea City in its last fixture.

Charlie Adam's last-gasp penalty rescued a point but manager Mark Hughes will have been disappointed with his side's defense as the club threw away a 2-0 lead.

Stoke has only lost one of its last five matches, a 3-2 defeat at Manchester United, but has won just twice in the league this season.

The team has struggled for goals - only Adam has scored more than one in the league - but will hope the league's worst defensive outfit, Sunderland, continues to struggle at the back.

Stoke's only injury concern is Andy Wilkinson (knee), who will not play, while Sunderland has a clean bill of health ahead of a busy period.

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