Sunderland side almost picks itself but up to THREE changes still expected for Norwich match

How are we supposed to win a football match without Paddy McNair?

by GMac88 Tuesday, 10 April 2018 09:09 AM Comments
How are we supposed to win a football match without Paddy McNair?


In a midfield trio consisting of the inconsistent George Honeyman and the consistently legless Lee Cattermole - McNair has added a bit of competency and it has made a huge difference. His goal against Leeds was one of a few moments of quality mustered up by this Sunderland side. However, as usual, now he's injured. 

He won't be the only one losing out through injury tonight, though he's the only one we really care about. Marc Wilson is unavailable.

Who's safe?

Aside from that, does Chris Coleman need to make any changes? After finally abandoning the failed 5-3-2 or 5-4-1 or 9-0-1 or whatever we played before, we've found a system that gives us the opportunity to score a goal. The team pretty much picks itself from here.

It comes as no surprise to me that as Wilson was moved out of central defence we looked more compact at the back. For all of his flaws - and he has many - Lamine Kone is integral if we are going to maintain an average back line. That average back line is required so we don't concede three goals and give ourselves a slim chance of winning the remaining five games.

Donald Love has played his way into first choice at right back - who'd have thought it? He's looked a decent player too and should kick on in League One next year.

The creativity that Lynden Gooch and Aiden McGeady bring to the side surely makes them first pick. If the Irishman is on point, we'll have plenty of chances tonight - whilst Gooch's introduction into the starting eleven has really transformed our attacking play.


The safe list;

Lee Camp
Donald Love
Lamine Kone
John O'Shea
Lee Cattermole
George Honeyman
Lynden Gooch
Aiden McGeady

Tinker Row

Marc Wilson
Paddy McNair
Ashley Fletcher

So we know Wilson and McNair will miss out. It seems inevitable that Bryan Oviedo and Ovie Ejaria take their place.

Aside from the two forced changes, the only other thing I think may tempt Coleman is the reintroduction of Joel Asoro. Norwich have a couple of towering centre halves in Grant Hanley and Tim Klose - both of which like to give the striker a tough time physically, so perhaps it would be a little odd playing the slight frame of Asoro. However, I think he'd cause havoc on the shoulder of the defenders and I'm not sure Fletcher would have much more joy than Asoro physically.

I'd like to see Asoro start over Fletcher, although I do think Fletcher has been a lot better recently, but I think Coleman will act differently.

Expected line up;

Lee Camp, John O'Shea, Lamine Kone, Donald Love, Bryan Oviedo, Lee Cattermole, George Honeyman, Ovie Ejaria, Lynden Gooch, Aiden McGeady, Ashley Fletcher.