Last week I singled out our new on-loan left back Marcos Alonso as the man to watch in Sunderland's game against Fulham. However, the young Spaniard had a slightly less successful game than his debut against Manchester United in the League Cup and ended up with just the two points from the match.
The real star for Sunderland was undoubtedly Adam Johnson, whose hat-trick and assist bagged the winger twenty-two points - making him the top fantasy scorer of the week. Likewise, Ki Sung-Yeung's goal and assist meant that the Korean brought home a very decent return of twelve.
Alvaro Negredo had a more difficult game than he would have hoped for against Newcastle. The Spaniard's difficulties away from home continued, however he did manage to score Manchester City's second goal when the ball bounced fortuitously off Tim Krul after Negredo had rather mucked up a one-on-one. His reward was six points.
Emanuele Giaccherini was the Sunderland player I advised avoiding down at Craven Cottage, and sure enough the Italian failed to even get off the bench as Adam Johnson was, spectacularly, awarded a starting spot. My prediction of Roger Johnson's horror Premier League return continuing turned out to be wide of the mark as the West Ham defender earned five points for his part in the Hammers clean sheet away to Cardiff.
This weekend Sunderland have a chance to continue a very good start to 2014 as a Southampton side rocking from the resignation of chairman Nicola Cortese, and speculation over the future of manager Mauricio Pocchettino, come to the Stadium of Light. Elsewhere, Chelsea's match-up with Manchester United is the stand out tie - hopefully it won't be as dull as the 0-0 at Old Trafford early in the season.
Sunderland Player To Watch: Ki Sung-Yeung
There is no arguing with the quality of Adam Johnson's performance away at Fulham. The winger was utterly menacing throughout, and the match ball was a fair reward for his best game in a Sunderland shirt. However, what was also noticeable about the game was how brilliant Ki was.
The Korean midfielder is probably Sunderland's most important player in Gus Poyet's system, and on Saturday he expertly demonstrated both his passing ability and the vital cutting edge he brings to our midfield. He finished Adam Johnson's carefully practiced free kick routine for the second goal, and for the third provided a simply beautiful through-ball for the Englishman.
Against a Southampton side who like to press the ball high up, Ki's vision could be a crucial part of any Sunderland success.
General Player To Watch: John Terry
OK, no one likes Terry, but this season he is certainly having an Indian Summer under his old mate Jose Mourinho. The Chelsea skipper has once again been restored to the heart of the Chelsea defence and the recent miserly nature of their back-line has been impressive. In their recent game against Arsenal their defence was rock solid, and they were content to grind out a 0-0 draw.
Keeping it solid at the back will doubtless be a key aim for Chelsea against United, and with Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie looking set to miss out they could well manage another clean sheet. Furthermore, Terry has a fantastic scoring record for a centre-back, and it would be just like Brave John Brave Terry to bravely score a brave goal in such an important fixture.
Sunderland Player To Avoid: Steven Fletcher
Although I don't think it's likely that the Scotsman will leave Sunderland in this window, his performance against Fulham was still disappointing. He didn't contribute much to the build-up play, and when he was presented with two clear chances he missed both. With Jozy Altidore at least managing to win himself a penalty late on in the game, it's likely that Gus Poyet will continue his rotation policy and bring the American back into the side for the visit of Southampton at the weekend.
General Player To Avoid: Grant Holt
Paul Lambert is clearly tired of life as manager as Aston Villa, but doesn't want to resign and forgo the pay-outs he'd receive were he to be fired. How is this obvious? Why else would you sign an aging, overweight striker who can't even get a game for a Championship when what you desperately need is a creative player?
Clearly the signing of Holt is calculated to force Randy Lerner to hand out Lambert's P45 before he can do any more damage. Against the formidable centre half partnership of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscienly at the Emirates, I simply cannot see the striker getting any luck at all.
The Roker Report League
Almost no change at the top of our league table, with John Downing remaining top of the tree on 1,356 and Ian Randle still in second in 1,350. Rosli Mohamed has moved up into third on 1311, with Paul Morrison dropping back into fourth on 1302. Craig has now jumped ahead of Luke amongst our writers, with Craig in 78th on 1187 and Luke on 1182 in 85th. Behind the two leaders I've fallen to 108th with 1153 points, with Dave in 162nd on 1102. Meanwhile, at the back, Simon in 287th on 928 and Stephen's in 357th with 744 points.