“Football throws up strange results”.
Those were the words of David Moyes as he looked ahead to today’s confrontation with high-flying Liverpool.
For Sunderland to get any sort of result against Jurgen Klopp’s title chasers, you would expect it to be the strangest result of the season.
Sunderland have done it before on a New Year – who can forget Ji Dong-won’s injury-time winner over Premier League leaders Manchester City on the first day of 2012?
But this will take some turnaround by the current Black Cats, whose injury woes grew further in the 4-1 weekend hiding at Burnley, with Lamine Kone and Victor Anichebe limping off with hamstring trouble.
“We’re going to have to defend much better,” said Moyes who lamented Sunderland’s failure to deal with “good-old fashioned English football”.
“It’ll be a different type of game, but we’ve got to quickly get ourselves ready and prepare for that.
“Football sometimes throws up strange results at times and we’ve got to hope there’s a strange result thrown up this week.
“[Liverpool is not a great game to be going into], but sometimes football can throw things up.
“We have to find a way of overcoming Liverpool, who have got a lot of strengths at the moment.
“We have to defend better than that because we’ve got forward players who, given some good service, are technically able to score goals.”
Moyes and his squad were back in at the Stadium of Light yesterday to check on the wounded and to get a team assembled to play Liverpool (3pm kick-off). “We need to see who’s fit and available, dust them down and go again.”
Kone will be a major doubt on two fronts – firstly his injury, and secondly, the Cats boss has yet to learn if Ivory Coast will let him stay until after the Reds clash.
“We’re waiting on the answer,” said Moyes, who will have Gabon’s Didier Ndong and Tunisia’s Wahbi Khazri available.
“We’re hoping the Ivory Coast will allow us to keep him, but the truth is we haven’t had the answer yet.
“The others have been given permission to stay for the game.”