After a spirited but ultimately fruitless display at Anfield last weekend in which Sunderland lost 2-0 to Liverpool they will look to regain their momentum of back to back wins when they play host to a Leicester side who have only picked up one point on the road this season.
Jurgen Klopp said after his side’s win that it was the most defensive display he had ever seen. I don’t think that was meant to be levelled as a criticism as such it’s just stating a matter of fact. The stats don’t usually lie and the fact that Liverpool had 80% possession in the first half almost said it all.
But that’s not to volley too much criticism at Sunderland. Yes as a fan you could argue that they should have given a bit more going forward but you also need to be pragmatic at the same time and credit should go to the side for nearly keeping Liverpool at bay.
That defeat followed wins against Bournemouth and Hull and it’s fair to say that Sunderland’s season has finally started. But the job does not get any easier as they once again find themselves bottom of the table thanks to Swansea’s farcical win last weekend.
Today they go into their encounter with Leicester in optimistic mood, in terms of relative form Sunderland are the better side going into this one and when you couple that with the fact that Leicester are yet to win away from home then Sunderland will quite rightly fancy their chances.
Last season saw Leicester move one step close to the title with a win at The Stadium Of Light, today they could do with moving one step closer away from the dropzone. As it stands they are just two points away from the bottom three as they begin to look nervously over their shoulders.
The previous weekend saw them earn a 2-2 draw with Middlesbrough at The King Power. A game which also saw boos for Claudio Ranieri at half time. After what he has done for the club then you would like to think he is immune from that but unfortunately that is the sense of entitlement from all modern day football fans.
The fact they only picked up a point last Saturday means that the Champions are now four matches without a win. This team is very much Jekyll and Hyde this season, fantastic in Europe but below par on a domestic front and it’s the league form which must be a concern to Claudio Ranieri.
For a side that only lost three games on the way to a first ever title this season they have already lost double that. I think even getting the European places this season may be a step too far. If they want their Champions League adventure to continue past one season they might have to win it. But it’s not as if we can put that past them.
But as for Today I think Sunderland will have their tails up, spirited in defeat at Liverpool they will have to fancy their chances against a Leicester side that doesn’t travel well. I’m going to upset the apple cart slightly and go for a Sunderland win this afternoon.