Wolves can take a giant leap towards English Premier League survival on Saturday when they travel to the Stadium of Light to meet Sunderland.Mick McCarthy’s men have been cellar dwellers for much of the 2010-11 campaign, but with two games remaining they find themselves one point clear of the drop zone, thanks to their 3-1 win over West Brom at Molineux on Sunday.
Wins have been few and far between for the Midlands side in the latter part of the season, with their last triumph before the West Brom game a 1-0 win over Aston Villa on March 19.
Sunderland, meanwhile, endured a late-season slump of their own and after defeating Blackpool 2-1 in January, they did not taste success again until their 4-2 win over Wigan three months later.
They were then handed a 3-0 thumping by Fulham but bounced back in their most recent outing to defeat Bolton 2-1 at Reebok Stadium.
Steve Bruce’s side are safely clear of the drop zone, but like a few teams in the mid-table logjam, they must be struggling for motivation at the end of a long campaign, with neither a European place nor the threat of relegation acting as a spur.
In their only other meeting this season, Wolves scored a thrilling 3-2 win over Sunderland at Molineux thanks to a late winner from Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, after Darren Bent and Danny Welbeck had put Sunderland 2-1 up.
McCarthy has his fair share of injury troubles ahead of the match, with defenders Ronald Zubar and Steven Mouyokolo, midfielder David Edwards and striker Kevin Doyle all under fitness clouds.
For Bruce, however, the news from the physio is decidedly more worrying, with Kieran Richardson joining goalkeeper Craig Gordon, Fraizer Campbell, Asamoah Gyan and Welbeck in sitting out the last two games of the season.
Defender Titus Bramble could return from a knee injury, while Michael Turner and Lee Cattermole both missed the Bolton clash with respective knee and back problems.