Tyne-Wear Derby: How Will Sunderland Line-Up?
Posted by Paul David Sanderson | Published on March 15, 2016
The biggest derby since 1990 is less than a week away, so I have been having a look at Sunderland’s possible line-up in their aim to make it seven in a row and go four points clear of their local rivals in a relegation six pointer.
Vito Mannone: The Italian goalkeeper has been first choice recently and he is almost certain to start this game over Jordan Pickford and Steve Harper. He had a fantastic performance against Southampton and has experience in this fixture.
DeAndre Yedlin: When I was looking at the right back position I was debating whether to put Billy Jones in there because of his performance in the last derby, but with his poor form of late Yedlin looks to be the best option. Yedlin has proved a real threat when attacking but nervous when defending. But with his pace he is able to counteract players such as Wijnaldum.
Lamine Kone: This one was an easy pick for me. Kone has become our first-choice option at the centre back position since arriving at the club in January. His strength and aggression has been a real asset to the team never mind his aerial threat. Plus, Allardyce seems to be a big fan of the Ivorian, so I think he will be one of the first on the team sheet for the Newcastle game.
John O’Shea: Although O’Shea was at fault for the goal against Southampton, his experience in this fixture is just what we need. He is a commanding figure and will organise the defence and provide protection for attacking fullbacks Van Aanholt and Yedlin.
Patrick Van Aanholt: The Dutch fullback has had mixed performances recently. Although he has been a huge asset going forward, he has looked shaky to say the least when defending. However, he is our best fullback and will put in a good performance in these type of games so he deserves a place in this team.
Yann M’Vila: First name on the team sheet every week. M’Vila has been our best player this season and he can be trusted to put a good performance in. His tackling is outstanding and he is always looking to get the ball forward, easy choice for Allardyce.
Jan Kirchhoff: Another player who should be one of the first on the team sheet is Jan Kirchhoff. Since converting to the midfield role he has been outstanding alongside M’Vila, pushing Lee Cattermole out of the team.
Sebastian Larsson: It is a tough decision between Rodwell and Larsson but I have a feeling Larsson will start come Sunday. Larsson has been getting valuable minutes under his belt in the under 21 fixture and pre-derby friendly where he scored. Plus, with his derby experience he could be a game changer.
Wahbi Khazri: Despite mixed performances, his quality will keep him the team come Sunday. Other than Larsson he is the only real threat from set pieces in the team and his link up play with Defoe has proven vital. I expect Sam to play him on the left wing for this game.
Fabio Borini: A hero in previous derbies and with him getting his first team spot back he looks to be a threat against Newcastle’s weakened defence. I expect Allardyce to play him on the right wing to try and expose Newcastle’s biggest weakness.
Jermain Defoe: After scoring against Southampton and revealing to the media this week that he is 100% fit, Defoe is going to play a huge part in this game. His natural finishing ability and his work rates will be important when on the counter attack or just attacking in general. He will be the decider in this game, if he is sharp he can be a game changer.
Who would you pick?