Gary Rowell: Sunderland can take advantage of weaker Leicester and make it back-to-back home wins
It's always a special fixture when the reigning Premier League champions visit the Stadium of Light but it still sounds surreal that Leicester City are that team.
I don’t mean to be in any way disrespectful to the Foxes as they won the title on merit and by the huge margin of 10 points – no-one can say they did not deserve it.
It just still seems unbelievable that a team battling relegation one season can imp so much to win the title the next at odds of 5,000-1 and that’s what makes it the greatest football story for so many decades.
Their defence of the title has not gone as well as they’d have hoped for, but maybe they are concentrating more on Champions League where they are flying and if they are, who can blame them, they may never get another chance.
I saw Leicester’s last away game at Watford, where they conceded twice very early in the game so I’d like to see Sunderland go hard at them from the kick-off and catch them cold like Watford did.
However, there is danger in that tactic as Leicester are not interested in possession just for the sake of it, they like nothing more than teams coming at them and counter-attacking with pace, that’s exactly how they won the Premier League last year.
Players like Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez stole the headlines as Leicester stormed to the title and Wes Morgan and Robert Huth were as good as any central defensive partnership in the country and they are all still there
However, the engine of the team who did the dirty work for others to shine were N’Golo Kanté and Danny Drinkwater in the middle of the park but with Kanté moving on and Drinkwater suspended it makes the Foxes weaker.
I don’t see David Moyes making too many changes but one decision he has to make is whether to recall Papy Djilobodji after suspension or stick with John O’Shea, who did not do a lot wrong at Anfield.
Sunderland may have lost that game at Liverpool but they have improved from a month ago and having finally got a first home win of the season in the last game at the Stadium of Light, then the visit of an inconsistent Leicester makes this game definitely winnable and the chance for back-to-back home wins.