Gary Rowell column - Leicester clash promises to be a tense one for Sunderland

Leonardo Ulloa celebrates
Leonardo Ulloa celebrates
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THE VISIT of in-form Leicester this Saturday is another game which promises to be full of tension for Sunderland.

Despite back-to-back victories, Sunderland are still not safe and could do with at least another win, so the sooner we get it, the sooner we can all relax.

We are all sure to be put through the wringer for the full 90 minutes on Saturday

But Leicester will be difficult opponents, they’re full of confidence having won six of their last seven games, and will come to the Stadium of Light with no fear.

Just a couple of months ago, they were gone – dead and buried at the bottom of the table.

But then they produced a winning streak from nowhere to give themselves a massive chance of staying up.

A feature of the Foxes’ revival has been how quickly they start games, so Sunderland need to be aware of this, as the last thing we need is to go a goal down and have to chase the game.

Nigel Pearson can obviously get his players wound up in the dressing room before sending them out, but his team have more than enthusiasm and endeavour.

They have pace in the team, something that always troubles Sunderland, and Jamie Vardy in particular will try to exploit the lack of pace of our centre-backs.

In the middle of the park, the experienced Esteban Cambiasso is the one who pulls the strings for his team, so it could be down to Lee Cattermole to do a job on him to make sure he doesn’t control the game for Leicester.

I’ve been impressed with our full-backs Billy Jones and Patrick van Aanholt since the Stoke game, and they could be key figures for us, providing the pace and width to unlock the Leicester defence.

Both players look more comfortable going forward than defending, so let’s play to their strengths, as full-backs coming from deep positions are almost impossible to pick up.

We are all sure to be put through the wringer for the full 90 minutes on Saturday, it can’t be any other way as the stakes are so high.

But the players have looked a lot stronger mentally over the last couple of games and will have to handle the pressure of another crucial game.

It’s been another long and gruelling season for Sunderland supporters, with few highlights but plenty of disappointments and yet another battle to avoid the drop, but if they can sign off the home campaign with a win, there’s every chance that battle can be won.