Two games, two defeats- David Moyes had a nightmare start to his managerial career at Sunderland. First, a 2-1 loss against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City which probably was a bit unlucky and there were plenty of positives to take for the Wearsiders but they lost to nearest Premier League rivals and Premier League new boys Middlesbrough on Sunday which puts the Black Cats at a difficult place.
Sunderland have a massive opportunity on Wednesday evening to get back to winning ways and take back some confidence as they welcome League One side Shrewsbury Town at the Stadium of Light in the second round of the League Cup. We can expect Moyes to name a younger side to keep his key players fresh for the crucial away game at Southampton this weekend. At the same time, the Scot will hope to win this game emphatically to gain some momentum.
Sunderland have plenty of injury woes for the game with skipper John O’Shea the latest name on the treatment table. As many as seven players are missing with injuries in the form of O’Shea, Kone, Borini, Cattermole, Larsson, Jones and Kirchhoff. With so many key absentees, how will the Black Cats line up against Shrewsbury?
Young keeper Jordan Pickford is expected to start ahead of first-choice Vito Mannone under the bar. Paddy McNair and Papy Djilobodji are likely to pair up at the heart of the defence. Young right-back Donald Love will start in the right-back position while Dutch full-back Patrick van Aanholt will start in the left-back position.
Jack Rodwell is the only fit central midfielder right now at Sunderland and the 25-year-old is likely to start in the middle of the park. Alongside Rodwell, we expect veteran Steven Pienaar to start in an unnatural central midfield role. The 34-year-old did quite well in that position after replacing injured O’Shea on Sunday against Boro.
Youngster Lynden Gooch is pretty obviously a favourite of Moyes and is likely to keep his place in the number ten role. Duncan Watmore is likely to start on the left flank while Wahbi Khazri will get his chance on the right.
Jermain Defoe is likely to be rested for the game and youngster Joel Asoro is likely to be called upon by Moyes to spearhead Sunderland’s attack.