Sunderland will require “quality” delivery if they are to break down a stubborn Leicester City defence tomorrow, admits Sam Allardyce.
Last weekend’s stalemate against West Brom was only the second time in the last seven games that Sunderland have failed to find the net after the Black Cats were guilty of spurning a succession of chances against Tony Pulis’ men.
Jermain Defoe had a massive chance to score a header against the biggest back four in the country. That was down to the quality of Wahbi’s ball.SAM ALLARDYCE
However, Sunderland have been guilty over recent weeks of hitting too many hopeful high balls towards 5ft 6in lone striker Jermain Defoe.
Sunderland can ill-afford too much of that against the imposing Leicester central defence pair of Robert Huth and Wes Morgan, who have steered the leaders to five 1-0 wins in their last six games.
But Sunderland boss Allardyce believes that if Defoe receives the kind of cross that Wahbi Khazri delivered in the first half against the Baggies – one that the England international inexplicably failed to convert with his head – then the Black Cats can worry the Leicester defence.
Allardyce said: “Jermain Defoe had a massive chance to score a header last weekend against the biggest back four in the country.
“That was down to the quality of Wahbi’s ball.
“I’m still baffled by how Jermain didn’t manage to make contact.
“It looked like it was right on his head, and then all of a sudden it was past him.
“The quality of the ball was so good that he just had to guide it in.
“With quality delivery, you can break a big defence down.
“But the sort of crosses we want, need to be like that, rather than dropped into the middle onto two centre-halves who will deal with that all day.”
Four wins from the remaining six games will be sufficient for Leicester to lift their first ever league title, with fans of the Foxes understandably swept away by their fairytale transformation over the last 12 months.
But Allardyce made a point of praising Sunderland supporters in his pre-match press conference, with a crowd of around 45,000 expected tomorrow after a similar turn-out last weekend.
He added: “Confidence is sweeping through the city of Leicester. The fans give them so much support and they don’t feel like they can lose, particularly at their own ground.
“But our fans here, fantastic. We’re bottom of the league but they’re still turning up and singing for us, and trying to get us over the line.
“Tomorrow’s game is on the telly and still 45,000 tickets have been sold.
“Hopefully they can get us over the line and create a big upset.”