Should Sunderland recall Sebastian Coates? 6 key issues for David Moyes

Sebastian Coates
Sebastian Coates
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David Moyes faces the media today ahead of tomorrow’s crunch Premier League clash with Stoke City.

The Black Cats go into the game bottom of the Premier League table, without a top-flight win to their name this season.

It’s the same situation for Stoke, however, with Mark Hughes’ side suffering a dismal start to the season themselves.

Ahead of the game, here are six questions Moyes will have to find answers for going into the clash at the Britannia Stadium.

1. Do you know what your best XI is?

Moyes has been tagged the new tinkerman of the Premier League, having started 22 players this season.

Sunderland haven’t been helped by injury. So how long will it be until the Scot can field – or identify - his best XI?

2. Who will score for you other than Defoe?

With their meagre tally of six Premier League goals this season coming from just two players – Jermain Defoe (four) and Patrick van Aanholt (two) – how can Sunderland boost their firepower in the next few games?

Is a lack of creativity or basic urgency the issue? Is it something Moyes needs to address in the January transfer window?

Or could new boy Victor Anichebe – back fit after a groin complaint – be the answer?

3. Are the next two games must-wins?

These two weeks could be crucial for the Black Cats as they face two fellow strugglers – Stoke and West Ham.

Can Sunderland afford not to win – or win at least one of - those games?

4. Can you beat the drop with kids?

Sunderland have lost numerous experienced players to lengthy injury lay-offs.

But could dipping further into the club’s promising youth ranks – in the week that goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was called up by England – be the way forward in the battle for survival?

Moyes has already shown he’s not afraid to give youth a chance.

5. Can Moyes find enough defensive steel to defy Stoke?

Never mind their own lack of goals, Sunderland’s failure to keep a single Premier League clean sheet this season is a huge worry as they travel to the Potteries.

With Moyes having failed to so far find a reliable central defensive partner for Lamine Kone following the departure of Younes Kaboul, will it be the January transfer window before Moyes can instil more steel into his back-line?

6. Should Moyes recall Sebastien Coates?

Currently on loan at Sporting Lisbon, Coates is enjoying a fine season while the fellow defenders he left behind on Wearside struggle to keep clean sheets.

Sporting have won every game he has played in apart from a Champions League tie against Real Madrid, and he has provided the bonus of scoring three goals in his seven appearances.

Never mind buying again in January, could recalling a familiar face be the answer to Sunderland’s defensive problems?