Venue – Stadium of Light, Referee – Neil Swarbrick
Last 5 Games –
Swansea – WLLDW Sunderland – DDLLL
Last Meeting – Swansea 1 – 1 Sunderland
So we’re back at home after two weeks of utter garbage.
Last week only young Watmore and maybe M’Vila emerged with any credit as we were taken apart by a side who won the Championship play offs and started with Cameron Jerome up front. However you dress it up, it was shambolic. Watching Patrick Van Aanholt lazily jog back in as two Norwich players took the ball around Lee Cattermole and beat Pantilimon at his near post is still making my stomach turn. It summed the day up. No heart, desire, graft, nothing.
We go again, and face a Swansea side who have been very impressive in their opening two games. In particular Jefferson Montero. The Ecuadorian has so far tore apart two international full backs, one of whom has been consistently the best in the league for about 3 years, and on Saturday will come up against Billy Jones (I’m shaking as I type) or the untested Adam Matthews.
Swansea will be rightly confident of turning us over. I never thought at this point, after however many consecutive seasons in the top division, I’d be casting envious glances at the squad of Swansea City. They’ll more than likely go 4-2-3-1 with a front four of Ayew, Sigurdsson and Montero supporting Gomis. Looks dangerous… they can all score goals.
In comparison we look more and more toothless up front with each passing game and resort to lumping long balls at our smallest striker or to the bloke we’ve paired him with who then has both centre halves challenging with him. Our midfield (even Cattermole. ‘How’s that new deal Lee?’ ) look toothless and devoid of any creativity and our defence… where to start? Coates seems to have reverted to type, Kaboul (injured, thank God) has looked dreadful and the less said about our full backs the better. I’d expect us to revert back to 4-3-3 with O’Shea coming in and hopefully providing some much needed stability, I’d have been hopeful of Watmore getting a start after his impact last week. I won’t hold my breath though. Defoe and Lens will probably support Fletcher or Graham from wide positions. Lack of a natural replacement will mean Van Aanholt will keep his place.
Make no mistake, tomorrow is a mis-match. I’d hope we could get behind the lads from the off, we usually do, and that we can carry that energy into the game. Perhaps after the first two games the expectation will be sufficiently lowered and the pressure will be off so we can get a surprise result. Maybe we’ll remember how to defend.
I’m clutching at straws really. I hope I’m wrong, I really really do but I can see us on the end of another thumping…
Prediction Sunderland 0 – 3 Swansea City