Sunderland boss could stick with two up top against Hull

Victor AnichebeVictor Anichebe
Victor Anichebe
David Moyes is not dismissing another outing for the 4-4-2 formation which brought Sunderland their first Premier League win of the season.

The Black Cats boss combined leading scorer Jermain Defoe and September signing Victor Anichebe in a little and large pairing at Dean Court.

It worked the proverbial treat as Sunderland beat one of the top flight’s home form sides.

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Defoe provided an assist for the opener for Anichebe with the giant forward repaying the favour 16 minutes from time when he was tripped in the box, the ex-England star converting the penalty for his 149th Premier League goal.

And Defoe will be chasing number 150 in the must-win game against fellow strugglers Hull City on Saturday.

Moyes must decide whether to carry on with 4-4-2 or revert to just Defoe up top with Anichebe on the bench.

The boss was not quite misty-eyed when he recalled how it was once the stock system for football until the 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1s came into vogue.

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“It would be great to go back to two centre-forwards,” said Moyes. “But it happens less and less in football now.

“It’s partly because of good football teams like Bournemouth who are so good at keeping the ball.

“Leicester were great at it last year, playing 4-4-2.

“But when you play a 4-4-2 formation you have to be happy to concede a lot of possession, unless you are an excellent side at it.”

Clearly, Leicester were excellent at it, winning the Premier League by 10 points!

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Sunderland are not the Foxes but it worked for them at Dean Court with Moyes refusing to withdraw one of his forwards even after they went down to 10 men after the red card for Steven Pienaar.

“We kept two strikers on and we tried to use them as a way of getting up the pitch and it worked for us in the end,” he said.

“We were brave to do that.”

The Black Cats did tweak the system with either Defoe or Anichebe dropping deep to be behind the ball.

Anichebe was even filling in several times just in front of left-back Patrick van Aanholt, even before Pienaar’s early bath, leaving just Defoe in attack.

“It’s something which is now part of football,” said Moyes.

“We drifted Victor to the left for lots of the game, but we always knew that he was able to join up [with the front line] which he did for the second goal and he got us the penalty.”