Sunderland vs Liverpool - David Moyes makes case for the defence

Posted Monday, January 02, 2017 by PA

Sunderland's players have been warned by David Moyes there can be no repeat of their defensive horror show against Burnley when Liverpool come to the north east.

Moyes has little time to pick the bones out of his team's 4-1 loss at Turf Moor because they are back in action two days later against Jurgen Klopp's in-form Reds.

In Burnley, the crux of the problem for Moyes was clear as his team unravelled at the back as soon as Lamine Kone went off injured midway through the first period.

And the Black Cats boss knows his side will have to tighten up defensively when facing the Premier League's top scorers if they are to pull off an upset against a team targeting a fifth win on the bounce.

"We're going to have to defend much better," Moyes said.

"It'll be a different type of game but we've got to quickly get ourselves ready and prepare for that.

"Football sometimes throws up strange results at times and we've got to hope there's a strange result thrown up this week."

Without Kone at Burnley, Sunderland fans got a glimpse of what the next month may look like as a central-defensive partnership of John O'Shea and Papy Djilobodji failed to deal with Andre Gray.

Kone has been called up to Ivory Coast's African Nations Cup squad and may even be denied a farewell experience against the Reds due to injury.

The 27-year-old hurt himself when sliding in to an advertising hoarding to try and stop a Gray shot and despite initially appearing fine to continue, he was withdrawn in the 24th minute, with Moyes now unsure if he can feature on Monday.

Moyes also lost Victor Anichebe to a problem before the break as he substituted himself having appeared to strain his hamstring when chasing George Boyd on the stroke of half-time.

Defender Jason Denayer is another concern due to a hamstring problem that prevented him from even making the squad in east Lancashire.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists there can be no excuses as his side head to the Sunderland after a quick turnaround in the Premier League.

Less than 44 hours after beating title rivals Manchester City in an attritional game at Anfield the Reds will be in action again at the Stadium of Light.

City and Liverpool both have 1500 kick-offs on Monday, but while Pep Guardiola's men are at home to Burnley, the Reds had to make the 165-mile trip to the north east on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, while many people were still dragging themselves out of bed bleary-eyed after New Year celebrations, Klopp was already poring over a recording of the Black Cats' weekend defeat at Turf Moor

"I've celebrated enough in my life. It is no problem," said Klopp.

"We all earn a lot of money, we all know about it and our private life changes a little bit.

"I've said enough about the fixtures and long ago we accepted it.

"No excuses for no-one - that's how everyone wants it. We have to deliver - and we will deliver."

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is a doubt to face his former club, having been forced off midway through the match against City due to a heel problem although it is not the same issue which has troubled the England international for the last 12 months.

Options for Klopp include returning Adam Lallana to a deeper role and restoring Divock Origi to the starting line-up, or bringing in Lucas Leiva as the deep-lying midfielder.



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