SAFC to Rely on Ricky Alvarez as Main Man in Line Up Against Fulham

With today's FA Cup replay coming just three days after our huge win over relegation rivals Burnley, confidence must be high. We can probably take a good guess at the line up tonight.

Gus Poyet has already given us some clues confirming that Ricky Alvarez will start in place of Adam Johnson who is absent due to thumb surgery. This is hugely encouraging as confirms we won't be going back to the awful and negative line up Poyet set out in the first game.

With both Jermain Defoe and Connor Wickham getting on the scoresheet against Burnley it would be a big surprise to see either miss out which would see us adopt a similar 4-4-2 line up.

Poyet also indicated Jack Rodwell is going to be given the opportunity of redemption after his embarrassing sending off in the home fixture. This would mean one of the midfield trio of Liam Bridcutt, Seb Larsson and Jordi Gomez missing out with the latter being the most likely.

Anthony Reveilliere was very impressive against Burnley (earning second place in your votes) but with his age and lack of football, it would be no surprise to see Billy Jones reintroduced into the starting line up. The rest of the back four should be the same, though Vito Mannone will start instead of number one Costel Pantilimon such is Poyet's goalkeeping policy.

The major concern I have here is whether or not Alvarez has the work rate of Johnson to be as big a success in the free role behind the strikers. He is talented, as we're often told, so if there is a position he is to flourish in surely this is it. I think his application will be massive and may well be the difference between a dynamic attacking display and a slow and predictable one.

If we line up like this and conduct ourselves in a professional manner, we should have too much for Fulham who can't afford to be as poor as they were at the Stadium of Light.

An away tie against Bradford is the prize for the winner in a competition which is wide open.

What will the result be against Fulham? Vote below!

2015-02-03 What will the result be against Fulham?
blog comments powered by Disqus
We Are Wearside | Independent SAFC fan blog, discussions and database

Preview: Crystal Palace Vs Sunderland

Three games, that’s all – three games and I am already scratching my head wondering what on earth is going on. Nothing makes any sense to me at the moment and quite frankly I am starting to get a little bit scared. Can you get more contrasting performances? What on earth was happening on Tuesday? My mind hurts. Anyway, here we come again London. [More]

Sour Milk

Sunderland’s recent performances in the League Cup are hardly a new phenomenon, the competition has been a thorn in the side for the club since its beginnings in the early 1960s as a way to exploit the new attraction of midweek floodlit games. A semi-final was reached in 1963, but this was when several top teams refused to play, seeing the competition as some still do as unwanted fixture congestion. [More]

Sunderland Vs MK Dons: Match Analysis & Player Ratings

Having suffered at the hands of lower league teams in the past I'm sure nobody really expected our match against MK Dons to be open and shut, but not many of us would have predicted the way yesterday’s game panned out.We were not at the races for most of the game but thankfully we had enough quality... [More]

Southampton Vs Sunderland: Tactical Analysis & Player Ratings

Second game of season, second time to be outdone by a set piece, except this time, Sunderland did manage to score from a set piece. The team had looked set for their third straight win at St Mary’s thanks to Emanuele Giaccherini’s early headed (yes headed) goal from a Seb Larsson corner, until Jose Fonte grabbed a 88th minute equaliser from a free kick. [More]

Away Day Diaries: Southampton

Me and my mate Peddles have been looking forward to this match ever since the fixture list came out. Like a kid on Christmas Eve - the night before I couldn't sleep due to the excitement of watching the lads play. So I got up about 8:30 and made sure I had a decent breakfast. Lucky charms and a pint of Fosters – what every 27 year old (should) eat! [More]

Match Report: Southampton 1-1 Sunderland

Sunderland began their away campaign all the way down to the south coast against a Southampton side who haven’t got the better of the Black Cats for over a decade. This by no means made us the favourites, rather we were tipped by most to come away from St Mary’s with that familiar wooden spoon. [More]