The Cavalry Must Arrive Now for Sunderland to Survive

Author: Gmac

Injuries have plagued Sunderland for the majority of the season and injuries to key players have made getting results beyond us on most occasions.

When you're having to replace Victor Anichebe with Adnan Januzaj or Jan Kirchhoff with Seb Larsson you sort of know your squad has zero depth. Results elsewhere haven't been kind and it's meant Sunderland need yet another miracle to maintain Premier League football.

Even if Sunderland managed to pick up two wins on the trot and all of our relegation rivals managed to lose two in a row, we'd still be in the drop zone due to our atrocious goal difference. With just eleven games remaining, Sunderland need to find something ridiculous like six wins, which is not going to happen if we line up the way we have for most of the season.

There is a chance that we can make a fist of this, with Anichebe, Kirchhoff and Lee Cattermole expected to return to the first team very soon. Kirchhoff has already played 64 minutes for the Under 23s and is the most likely to feature in the monumentally important home game against Burnley. Cattermole suffered problems with his Achilles on his road to recovery from a hip operation whilst Anichebe indicated on Instagram his return is very close.

Should Kirchhoff be fit for the visit of Burnley it is so important that he takes the place of the hapless Larsson. A double-act of the German and Darron Gibson would bring a composed presence to our otherwise chaotic midfield, something we completely lacked as Burnley cast us aside in the FA Cup and humiliated us in the league. Didier Ndong's performance against Manchester City suggested that the Gabon International could be a very useful option, pushing further forward in support of the front three who lack any cohesion and need help.

It is very close to being over for Sunderland, but perhaps the saving grace is that within the final eleven games we have opportunities to take points from Middlesbrough, Leicester, Hull and Swansea whilst Burnley, West Ham and Bournemouth must all visit the stadium of light. Being realistic about it, the fact we need to win pretty much all of those games makes survival seem unlikely.

But, hey, if Paolo Di Canio can keep us up with Danny Graham up front - anything can happen, right?

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