THE Premier League returns this weekend after the international break, with Sunderland taking on one of last year’s promoted teams, Leicester City, at the King Power Stadium.
Sunderland have failed to beat the other two promoted teams, QPR and Burnley, in games earlier this season, so that should be a reality check that Leicester won’t make it easy for them on Saturday.
One of the best games I have seen in this current campaign was Leicester’s 5-3 win against Manchester United, but they have struggled since then, and have slipped into the bottom three.
They lost their last Premier League game by conceding two late goals at Southampton, but St Mary’s is a difficult place to go, as we know only too well, and compared to our scoreline, they got away lightly.
Leicester will have the incentive of knowing a win will leapfrog them above us in the table, but I’m sure Gus Poyet will view this game as winnable, and target all three points.
Sunderland showed character to win their last away game at Crystal Palace, and with the Foxes’ indifferent current form, a second successive away win should not be out of the question.
Hopefully some of the walking wounded will be back and available to Poyet to increase his options, as for the last few games we have been short of numbers, especially at the back.
Liam Bridcutt can be satisfied with his performance against Everton, but I’d be very surprised if Lee Cattermole doesn’t go straight back into the team after his suspension, as being away from home, we’ll need his battling style and leadership qualities.
Sunderland won’t be short of support off the pitch, with another away sell out of more than 3,000 fans to roar them on, and that should make for a great atmosphere.
The last time there was an international break, Sunderland returned to action at Southampton, which turned out to be by far and away the low point of the season so far, but Leicester aren’t as good as the Saints, and Poyet will be demanding there is no repeat of that horror performance.