Sunderland may require a dose of Dutch courage if they are to stop Fulham’s wide boys in their tracks tomorrow.
For anything but a win against Neeskens Kebano and Co for Chris Coleman against his old club will see the Black Cats go a full calendar year without a home win.
But who are the Fulham dangermen Sunderland need to watch out for in order to secure a crucial first victory at the Stadium of Light since beating Watford on December 17, 2016? If Coleman’s men are to avoid a seriously unwanted record, they may have to wing it...
1 Neeskens Kebano
Sunderland will hope a name is all that Kebano shares with legendary Netherlands midfielder Johan Neeskens.
While three goals is all it has taken the Congolese winger to be Fulham’s joint-second top Championship scorer this season, one of those strikes and an assist have come in his last two games as he bids to become consistent enough to graduate from a peripheral figure to one of Slavisa Jokanovic’s main men.
2 Ryan Sessegnon
A name familiar to Black Cats fans, Stephane Sessegnon’s namesake Ryan plies his trade mainly at left-back but shares no relation to the tricky Benin midfielder who impressed on Wearside.
What the 17-year-old attack-minded left-back does possess is the ability to influence play in the final third – as he showed in a more advanced position with a hat-trick in Fulham’s 5-4 win at Sheffield United.
Should Jokanovic opt to play an attacking style at the Stadium of Light, a patched-up Sunderland defence will hope that Sessegnon’s mind is focused on talk of a January move to Manchester United.
3 Sheyi Ojo
Another winger – but this one’s a World Cup winner. Having conquered the globe with England’s Under-20s this summer, Ojo has recently regained that momentum during his loan spell at Fulham from Liverpool, having been linked with Newcastle in the summer.
Any frustration at seeing his Anfield career stall somewhat since he announced his first-team arrival with an FA Cup goal against Exeter in January 2016 has been relieved by a recent resurgence which has seen Ojo score three goals in his last four games.
His pace could cause problems for a defence not blessed with speed.