Sunderland vs Hull City - Predicted XI: Can Moyes make it back-to-back wins?

Sunderland only picked up their first win of the season two weeks ago, but who will remain in the starting line-up?

Sunderland vs Hull City - Predicted XI: Can Moyes make it back-to-back wins?
Image credit: Alex Morton/Getty Images Sport

It’s likely that David Moyes will stick with the 4-4-2 formation that saw him get his first away to Bournemouth, though suspensions and injuries may force few changes.

Goalkeeper and defence

GK: Jordan Pickford is likely to keep his place between the sticks after showing fine form following Vito Mannone’s injury. The England international, who has spent the break under Gareth Southgate’s watchful eye, pulled of a number of heart-stopping saves to secure three points for his side. Pickford is yet to keep a clean-sheet with Sunderland in the Premier League with a poor and ever-changing back four in front of him, however, tomorrow’s game may be the perfect opportunity.

RB: Billy Jones delivered a competent and confidence performance at the Vitality Stadium. The former West Brom man has managed to keep Donald Love and Javier Manquillo out of the time, despite both new recruits being brought in to take his position. The right-back is set to keep his place against Hull after his impressive display last time out.

CB: Papy Djilobodji has fell under criticism this season, though the summer signing is not making as many mistakes as people think says David Moyes, and the Scot may just be right. The towering centre-half has delivered much better performances than teammate Lamine Kone this season and deserves credit for his box work at Bournemouth.

CB: John O’Shea ought to return to the starting eleven tomorrow after a spell out through injury. The skipper will afford the Black Cats some much needed Premier League experience at a time where they desperately need three points. O’Shea also possesses the leadership that Moyes’ side so sorely miss without Lee Cattermole, and whilst O’Shea may not be as sharp as Lamine Kone, his attitude more than makes for up.

LB: Sunderland only really have on option at left-back and that’s Patrick Van Aanholt. The Dutchman is a hugely frustrating player for Black Cats fans, whilst there is no denying he is brilliant at going forward, his tendency to get forward often leaves Sunderland short at the back and PVA is caught out of position. He did not make too many mistakes at Bournemouth and will keep his place tomorrow.

Midfield

RM: Sunderland are short in midfield and the moment, and Duncan Watmore is likely to line-up on the right-wing against Hull. Watmore possesses the energy and desire that Sunderland need at times like this and undoubtedly helped Sunderland take all three points at Bournemouth. The England U21 international has a number of assists to his name this season and bagged an impressive goal during the international break. One criticism of the 22-year-old is his persistency to keep his eyes on the ball when making a run and as a result, when he looks up, he’s met with an opposition player.

CM: Paddy McNair. The summer signing fared well against Bournemouth in what was a difficult game for the youngster. McNair spent the international break with his native Northern Ireland and that game time should do wonders for him.

CM: Didier Ndong is of course Sunderland’s record signing, but so far Sunderland fans are unsure of what to make of him. Whilst the £13million man has not done much wrong, he also hasn’t really done anything right and gave a similar impression at Bournemouth. The Gabon man was sent home during the break after seemingly going AWOL and failing to report to training, however, the 22-year-old claims it was down to his wife giving birth.

LM: Wahbi Khazri should come back into the fold against Hull after being dropped to the bench against Bournemouth. The attacking midfielder can also play on the wing and Sunderland desperately need a player of his calibre when it comes to set-pieces. The Tunisian was sent off whilst playing for his country after punching an opposition player but that’s unlikely to affect his place in tomorrow’s starting eleven.

Up-front

FW: Jermain Defoe is of course always going to be a certain starter. The 34-year-old is the club’s top goal scorer and without him, Moyes’ would be done fore. The in-form striker grabbed another goal against Bournemouth after keeping his cool to put away a penalty and he definitely has the quality and threat to punish Hull tomorrow should he receive adequate service.

FW: Victor Anichebe impressed many with his brilliant hold up play at Bournemouth and helped Sunderland to that all important win, with a goal and helping his side to win the winning penalty. Anichebe worked incredibly alongside Defoe and Moyes should definitely stick with two upfront.

Predicted XI: (4-4-2) Pickford; Jones, Djilobodji, O'Shea, van Aanholt; Watmore, McNair, Ndong, Khazri; Defoe, Anichebe.