Sunderland’s nightmare start to the season continued as they fell to a last-gasp goal against Crystal Palace to remain rooted to the bottom of the table with 1 point on the board. David Moyes was brought in with much fanfare as the club secured their long-term target. Although Moyes had suffered a battering to his reputation in his spells at Old Trafford and at Real Sociedad, it was widely expected the project at the Stadium of Light would be more to his liking. A job where he was expected to stabilise the club and essentially keep them away from the relegation zone. With a stellar career with Everton, it was expected that with a couple of sensible buys, Moyes could inculcate the same stubbornness and solidity in the Black Cats in a similar manner to that of his Everton team.
But a horrendous transfer market followed a crucial injury to Fabio Borini and Sunderland seemingly lost the ability to win matches. The force is clearly against them and Moyes needs huge dollops of luck to make a turnaround in their fortunes.
Next up is a match against West Bromwich Albion and although putting his players under more pressure might do more harm than good, it is a match which Sunderland will realise they have to win. A failure to win this might well see their hopes of a revival fade fast.
T4O’s PREDICTED SUNDERLAND LINE-UP VS WEST BROMWICH ALBION (4-3-3)
Pickford will be starting in goal with Vito Mannone still out with injury. The English keeper has been impressive in spells and it will be a huge learning experience for him. Manquillo will be at right-back with Lamine Kone and Papy Djilobodji expected to form the central defensive pairing once again. They will have to be more assertive and stem the flow of goals. Patrick Van Aanholt will be at left-back and the manager will hope he re-ignites his form of last season.
David Moyes has experimented with his formations till now and will most likely play 3 in midfield. Jan Kirchhoff is expected to sit at the base with Lee Cattermole and Didier N’Dong stationed in front of him. Moyes has iterated his desire of transforming McNair into a midfielder and might utilise him.
Wahbi Khazri should finally get a chance on the flanks with his omission not helping the team in any manner. Duncan Watmore is likely to step in for Adnan Januzaj, who has been ruled out with an ankle injury and will be on the opposite flank, with the ever-dependable Jermaine Defoe leading the line.
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