Author - Gmac
Every game is a massive game when you're five points adrift at the bottom, though losing tomorrow would guarantee another team above us enjoys a sizeable gap above us. A string of results has to be put together sooner rather than later.
It's our first face off with Sam Allardyce's Crystal Palace and that will give us an interesting tactical battle between the man who kept us up last season and the man tasked with it this. David Moyes probably doesn't have as good a squad to choose from, so will need to find more from his injury-plagued Sunderland side. A good defensive display against Spurs is all fine but without attacking prowess we are not going to be beating anyone.
Jordan Pickford is not a million miles away from a return to action, however for now we will settle for Vito Mannone who looked more confident on Tuesday. In front of the Italian is likely to be a similar system which managed to keep Spurs out however Bryan Oviedo is expected to make his debut relegating Javi Manquillo to the bench. Billy Jones is expected to continue at right wing back with the central trio of Lamine Kone, John O'Shea and Jason Denayer remaining unchanged. Papy Djilobodji remains suspended.
It is possible Darron Gibson will also have a starting debut, he'll make an appearance I'm sure, though it seems more likely that Didier Ndong, Seb Larsson and Jack Rodwell will continue in central midfield. George Honeyman and Lynden Gooch will feel they have faint chances of starting with the latter returning from injury to earn a place on the bench on Tuesday.
Up top, Jermain Defoe and Fabio Borini are expected to line up once more with Adnan Januzaj missing out.
History shows Allardyce seldom loses important matches like this, but if we are going to begin Great Escape #54 we will have to hope Big Sam is crying into his pint of wine come Saturday evening. Love ya Sam but not tomorrow!