Can Sunderland copy Newcastle United strategy to beat Liverpool?

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp
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Sam Allardyce will follow Newcastle United’s strategy against Liverpool to end Sunderland’s losing streak tonight.

Sunderland’s neighbours and relegation rivals Newcastle produced a shock victory against Liverpool earlier this month after Jurgen Klopp’s side had won seven of their previous eight games.

I saw Newcastle beat them by shutting them down and stopping them playing but then they capitalised when they got a chance. That’s really the way forward for us

Sam Allardyce

The Magpies were able to contain Liverpool’s dangermen, before snatching maximum points in the second half, and Allardyce will adopt a similar game-plan at the Stadium of Light tonight.

Allardyce said: “We have to be as resilient as we possibly can against Liverpool and see if we can expose a few frailties that they have shown in the last five games.

“Last Saturday (against Leicester) was their first win in five. I saw Newcastle beat them by a lot of hard work out of possession in shutting them down and stopping them playing but then they capitalised when they got a chance.

“That’s really the way forward for us.

“One, can we find our frontmen to score when they get a chance, which has been thwarting us recently?

“And two, we have to get much more resilient defensively to stop leaking these goals particularly in the first 20-25 minutes.

“It’s not a difficult thing for anybody to work out what we have got to do.”

Allardyce’s worry is whether Sunderland have the mental strength to perform in that fashion after four successive defeats have plunged the club back towards the precipice to the Championship.

“The players at this moment in time are struggling with the fear that I think is inhibiting them playing the way that they want to,” he added.

“I have got to try and alleviate that. I’ve said on a few occasions that the ability is there from watching them on the training ground, you get encouragement from what you see.

“Our problem is transmitting it under the pressure that we are under at the moment.

“I’ve got a lot of work to do from a mental point of view in getting them to go out there and relax and show what they do on the training ground.”