Comfortable wins for Leicester and Crystal Palace compounded by a dramatic victory for Swansea leaves Sunderland an excruciating six points from safety. The Lads need to find some inspiration which we have seldom seen this season if we are going to earn a special result tomorrow.
David Moyes confirmed that none of the recent injury absentees are expected to start against Manchester City, however he did mention that both Jan Kirchhoff and Jack Rodwell are close to a return. Rodwell is the more likely to feature, probably from the bench if at all but even that would be a surprise. Jason Denayer is ineligible to play against his parent club. Can we expect any changes from last week's drab performance away against Everton? Whatever changes, I suppose you won't be using your betting apps to back The Lads tomorrow.
Papy Djilobodji is in line for a return with his four game suspension coming to an end. Whether or not he dislodges John O'Shea from the starting eleven remains to be seen. The Irishman was one of few to perform well against Everton so it would be an odd decision, especially how haunting the idea is of Papy defending against City's talented attack. Lamine Kone is certain to start whilst full backs Billy Jones and Bryan Oviedo have their spots cemented despite less than inspiring games last week.
In midfield something needs to change. Seb Larsson's performance was bordering on embarrassing and the Swede hasn't been close to the level required for weeks. Didier Ndong and Darron Gibson will no doubt start, whilst George Honeyman and Lynden Gooch - who played well in the season opener away to City - will be hoping to get the nod ahead of Larsson.
Adnan Januzaj and Fabio Borini have both been awful in supporting Jermain Defoe up front. However, Victor Anichebe and Duncan Watmore remain side lined whilst Wahbi Khazri still looks a shadow of the player we saw last season. Rather irritatingly, I expect that both Januzaj and Borini to start in support of Defoe.
Expected line up;
Pickford, O'Shea, Kone, Jones, Oviedo, Ndong, Gibson, Gooch, Januzaj, Borini Defoe