Canaries can stay out of reach of the Black Cats’ claws
Veteran Dutch coach Dick Advocaat pondered long and hard about whether to extend his stay at the Stadium Of Light – maybe he’s having second thoughts after an indifferent pre-season and a heavy opening-day defeat at Leicester.
It already looks as though it could be another difficult season for the Wearsiders and their long-suffering fans. Sunderland’s defence was all over the place at the King Power Stadium and the midfield offered them little protection. Second half goals from Jermain Defoe and Steven Fletcher put some gloss on a comprehensive defeat but Advocaat knows his team will have to do better if they are not to spend the next few months camped at the wrong end of the table.
The one piece of good news for Sunderland this week is that French international winger Yann M’Vila is available to make his first-team debut against Norwich City, despite being sent off while playing for the U21s against the same club on Sunday. Younes Kaboul and Jeremain Lens should also make their first appearance at the Stadium Of Light, though Advocaat must be tempted to recall John O’Shea considering Leicester exposed his team’s lack of cohesion last week.
Neil acknowledges that he’ll have to add quality to the City ranks and they’ve been linked with a move for Dynamo Kiev striker Dieumerci Mbokani but their current line-up still looks capable of causing problems for a Sunderland side that appears to be lacking both confidence and leadership.
Sunderland haven’t beaten Norwich in four attempts and the newly-promoted Canaries can get their first point on the board by holding the Black Cats to a draw at 9/4. Considering what happened on the first day of the season, the 19/20 for both teams to score looks good value.
The match kicks off at 3.00pm on Saturday, August 15th at the Stadium Of Light