• Date: Sat 03 December 2016
  • Kick-off: 15:00
  • Venue: Stadium of Light

Sunderland vs Leicester City


Form Guide -

Sunderland

Leicester City




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Sunderland boss David Moyes expects a backlash from Leicester

Sunderland boss David Moyes has warned the rest of the Premier League to expect a backlash from reigning champions Leicester.

The Foxes head for the Stadium of Light on Saturday sitting just two points above the relegation zone after a testing start to the defence of the title they claimed in such remarkable circumstances last season.

However, Moyes believes now that Claudio Ranieri's men have secured their passage to the next stage of the Champions League, they will turn their attention to matters at home.

He said: "I think they have probably had a bigger focus on the Champions League, and it's shown.

"They have done a great job in the Champions League. I think when they saw the draw, they really thought, 'We have a realistic chance of getting through here'.

"But when you are playing Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday, Wednesday and the quality of the games you are having to play in midweek and the level you're having to get to, it makes it very difficult to play again on the Saturday.

"Until you become a really top team which is used to playing in a Champions League game on a Wednesday night and a Premier League game on a Saturday, it becomes tough.

"But Leicester have qualified now, so they have done that bit and they will probably now try to turn their attention to climbing the table - hopefully not this week."

Sunderland midfielder Lynden Gooch is out of Saturday's game as he waits to hear if he needs surgery on an ankle injury.

The United States international was in London to see a specialist on Friday, but Moyes fears he could be sidelined for between eight and 12 weeks.

Defender Papy Djilobodji is available after suspension and Jan Kirchhoff (illness and hamstring) is back in the squad, but while Fabio Borini (groin) has returned to training, midfielders Lee Cattermole (hip), Jack Rodwell (hamstring) and Paddy McNair (knee) remain on the casualty list.

Leicester boss Ranieri hopes to have Kasper Schmeichel back before Christmas to help ease the Foxes' relegation fears.

The Denmark international has been out for a month after breaking his hand in the Foxes' goalless Champions League draw in Copenhagen.

Replacement Ron-Robert Zieler has conceded 16 goals in eight games and has kept just one clean sheet.

Schmeichel, who was also missing with a hernia problem earlier in the season, was due to be out for up to six weeks but is training and has rejoined the goalkeepers after previously working as an outfield player.

Leicester have won just one point in three league games since his hand injury and, as they head to bottom-of-the-table Sunderland on Saturday, Ranieri is keen to see the goalkeeper fit again.

He said: "I hope before Christmas Day he'll be ready. It depends on him and the surgeon but his fitness is getting better. He is working on a normal training session, separately.

"I shake his hand and he always gives me his left hand but today I said give me his right and shook it - gently - not like (Marcin) Wasilewski."

Ranieri could have Nampalys Mendy in his squad at the Stadium of Light after the midfielder finally shook off an ankle injury which has sidelined him since August.

He suffered the injury on his full debut against Arsenal but may make the bench along with fellow ankle injury victim Ben Chilwell.

"Everybody's available and they trained very well. It's an important match for them and us and we are ready," said Ranieri.

"Mendy and Chilwell are back training with the first team and they are available. Of course they don't have 90 minutes under them but are okay."

Danny Drinkwater serves the second game of his three-match suspension.



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