Sunderland fan blog: Phil Parkinson must resolve this major issue if Black Cats are to win promotion this year

After Sunderland's 2-1 victory over Doncaster on Sunday, one negative for the Black Cats was that they were unable to keep a clean sheet.

Monday, 30th December 2019, 4:45 pm

Also, the Black Cats have only been able to keep three clean sheets all season in League One, so does keeping clean sheets lead to success in League One?

In general, the answer to that question is yes - all of the teams at the top end of the League One table have all kept a number of clean sheets, compared to the lower end of the league.

Both Wycombe and Oxford, who currently occupy first and second respectively, have kept the most clean sheets in League One.

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The Chairboys have kept 12 out of 23 matches, while Karl Robinson's team have kept 11 out of 22. Also, Ipswich, Peterborough and Coventry, who are all in the top six places, are all at the top of the clean sheets charts.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, the teams near the bottom of the table usually don't keep as many clean sheets.

For example, Southend, who are second bottom, have kept only one clean sheet all season, while fellow strugglers, Tranmere, have only kept three - the same number as Sunderland.

If you look into Sunderland's stats in more detail, the Black Cats are one of two teams that don't have a clean sheet away from home - the other is AFC Wimbledon, who are currently placed 18th.

Furthermore, they share the fourth-lowest number of clean sheets at home, as they only have managed to keep three at the Stadium of Light.

So, this clearly shows that Sunderland's position in the table could be due to the lack of clean sheets; something they will need to rectify heading into the second part of the season.

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