Saturday, February 22, 2014
Sunderland’s Squad Sheet vs Arsenal
Sunderland’s last scheduled fixture again Manchester City was postponed due to high winds and Gus Poyet will have been hoping that his side can take something away from North London this time weekend as they look to fight their way out of the bottom three.
Adam Johnson won the Barclays Player of the Month Award for January and it is difficult to argue with the Premier League’s decision given some of his stats this season. The England winger unsurprisingly leads the Sunderland squad for total attacking contributions (shots on goal, assists, dribbles, crosses) with 76 according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Midfielder Lee Cattermole was the subject of transfer speculation during the recent window and it’s not difficult to understand why. On his day, Cattermole can be a highly effective enforcer with an underrated passing game. He has one of the best tackle success rates in the Sunderland squad, winning 68.4% of his 57 challenges this season, whilst racking up 209 passes in the opponent’s half this term.
Jozy Altidore has impressed many this season with his physical presence and ability to link the play in the final third. Sunderland will need him to be on top form this weekend against one of the strongest defensive partnerships in the league though in Koscielny and Mertesacker.
If any one is going to test them though, it’s most likely to be him given that he has the best shot accuracy rate of any Sunderland player this term with 68.8% of his 16 efforts so far working the opposition ‘keeper.
No player has epitomised the renewed defensive energy under Gus Poyet more than Sunderland captain John O’Shea, the centre-half leading from the front when it comes to his defensive numbers. He leads the squad for total defensive contributions (blocks, clearances, interceptions, tackles won) with 206 to his name.
Sunderland from: Mannone, Pickford, Ustari, Alonso, Bardsley, Celustka, Dossena, O’Shea, Vergini, Roberge, Ba, Bridcutt, Cattermole, Colback, Gardner, Giaccherini, Johnson, Ki, Larsson, Mavrias, Altidore, Borini, Fletcher, Scocco, Wickham