A fully fit Sunderland side will look to pick up all three points against relegation rivals Norwich City at Carrow road tomorrow. (Kick off 12:45pm – BT Sport 1)

Sunderland play Norwich City at Carrow Road in the early kick off on Saturday Lunch time. Sunderland go into the game needing all three points being four points behind the home side. Norwich go into the game on the back of a defeat away to Crystal Palace and Sunderland after a frustrating home defeat to league toppers Leicester city.

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Team News

Sunderland: Sam Allardyce revealed in his press conference yesterday that he now has a fully fit squad to choose from and that Duncan Watmore had been training all week and was available for selection.

Norwich: Timm Klose is the only absentee for the Canaries after twisting his knee in last weeks away defeat to Crystal Palace. Sebastian Bassong is expected to come into the heart of defence.

Likely Lineups

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Analysis

Allardyce has insisted on three CDM’s for the past few games and by now I really hope he realises it simply does not work. Yes we are more stable defensively over the 90 minutes but we have to have that balance in which we can defend and attack. Jan Kirchoff has been the standout since Newcastle away and he really has to stay in the side. Yann M’vila we all know is a class act on his day, although he hasn’t been brilliant recently. For me we have to drop Lee Cattermole and replace him with Sebastian Larsson. If i had it my way I would have us playing a flat 4-4-2 with Jermain Defoe and Fabio Borini up front. As proved in the Leicester game Defoe upfront on his own leaves us with no outlet to hit and against big defenders he stands no chance. I do however understand Sam playing 4-3-3 as we seem to be more defensively resolute. Yes tomorrow is all about going there and hopefully getting three points but its massively important to not lose. If… and its a big if we go and win against Norwich we have games at home which we can pick up points, but even if we were to draw we have a game in hand against Everton which I see as winnable with them looking to be on the downfall.

Different potential lineups

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Possible Changes to both Personnel and Lineups?

Yes, I’ve dropped Vito Mannone… As much as I really do like the man, I think lately his kicking especially has been very poor. Last week at home to Leicester on several occasions Vito failed to be urgent in his kicking and time after time looked for Defoe to win headers against two of the biggest CB’s in the league. It may be harsh but I also think he could have done better for Jamie Vardy’s first goal. It would be a big statement dropping Vito but I feel as though Pickford could be the answer.

John Oshea possibly coming back in for Younes Kaboul also crossed my mind. I don’t think Kabouls been poor at all and again it would be harsh to drop him but I just feel he lacks that bit of composure to find a pass into one of our midfielders feet and tends to either just clear the ball into row Z or looks to go route one. Don’t get me wrong there is times when the ball just needs clearing but not every single time.

Larsson into the side is a change I have been saying should happen for weeks now. I think his experience, his engine and composure at this stage of the season is something we are lacking. He has shown before when Gus Poyet was in charge of the club he was a great part of our survival with the standout being the winning goal away to Manchester United.

Watmore to start or not to start? That has been a topic since yesterday afternoon I have seen being debated a lot over social media. I feel he can be an impact both of the bench and from kick off. His sheer will to run and run is the one thing that edges me towards him starting but again to drop Khazri or Borini would be a bold statement for Sam to make.

The final word

Whichever starting lineup or formation we start, we as fans really want maximum effort from every single one of these players on the pitch come 12:45 on Saturday. With a fully fit squad to choose from, this is the time for Allardyce to show his experience as a manager. However, there is only so much he can do. It is down to the players to get out there from the first whistle and want it most. So here is my message to the players. Go out there, win the game and keep Sunderland football club in this league. Haway the lads!

 

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