Sunderland-Watford Preview

The Associated Press

It's now or never for Sunderland as they face Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

The Black Cats (5-5-18) are in danger of being left stranded at the foot of the table. Rock bottom and seven points from safety, David Moyes' men have to start putting together a run of wins if they are to have any chance of avoiding relegation.

Yet despite the team's perilous position, the Sunderland manager feels like his job should be secure into next season.

"I've got lots of confidence in my own ability and I also get on well with the chief exec," Moyes said. "You should always have a good relationship with your owners and chief exec but I don't take it for granted. I have to win games."

The 53-year-old Scot bases that confidence on the displays seen from his young players, who he says have impressed under difficult circumstances.

"Jordan Pickford, Lynden Gooch, Duncan Watmore, Paddy McNair - we have had a group of younger players who have had a go this time. It's just that not that noticeable because of our position."

Sunderland's position could become worse Saturday, when his side will look to end a miserable run that has seen them pick up just one point from the last four games without registering a goal in any of them. Sunderland have recorded goals in just one of their last seven league games.

But there is a glimmer of light as Watford (8-7-13) are stuttering themselves, with also just one point from their last four Premier League matches.

A 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace last time out was particularly disappointing for Walter Mazzarri's team, yet the seven-point buffer between the Hornets and Hull City in 18th is likely to be enough to see them avoid relegation.

Striker Troy Deeney is looking forward to spearheading the club's rise to bigger and better things in the English top-flight.

"Can we bring back the glory days?" Deeney asked. "There have been some great ones and a lot are back to the forefront of people's minds with Graham Taylor's passing but this is a different generation. Watford in the next five years, looking for the Europa League is a realistic ambition."

Deeney will likely lead the line against Sunderland on Saturday, but Watford have ongoing injury concerns over Valon Behrami, Mauro Zarate, Ben Watson and Roberto Pereyra.

Sunderland have doubts over the fitness of John O'Shea, Lamine Kone and Steven Pienaar, who all face late fitness tests.

But Moyes knows he will be without a host of influential players on top of that, with Jan Kirchhoff, Victor Anichebe, Watmore, Lee Cattermole and McNair all absent.

Sunderland won 1-0 when these teams met at the Stadium of Light in December, although goalscorer Patrick van Aanholt has since departed.

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