Sunderland crisis may force Big Sam to deal early

When you’re fighting down at the bottom of the Premier League, missing some of your biggest defenders is going to hurt.

That’s the situation at Sunderland who will be without Younes Kaboul and Adam Matthews for the foreseeable future.

The Black Cats sit 19th in the Premier League, and despite the improvements seen since Sam Allardyce took charge, it’s quite clear the north-easterners need more if they are to avoid the drop into the Championship next term.

Sunderland are 1/8 to be relegated this season, and their former Bolton boss has said that he’s looking to get any transfers completed sooner rather than later.

“We hope we can pull one of these off in the early stages of January,” the Englishman told BBC Newcastle.

“We’re in negotiations in a lot of areas, various matters, positions and players,” Allardyce added.

Sunderland have been linked with a host of defenders in recent weeks, including West Ham’s James Collins and Lorient’s Lamine Kone.

Allardyce is also on the hunt for a striker, with the Black Cats netting just 18 times in the Premier League this season.

QPR’s Charlie Austin is rumoured to top the bill on the Sunderland striker wish-list, closely followed by FC Utrecth’s Sebastien Haller.

Whoever Allarydce brings in to aid the club’s battle, expect him to get it done sooner rather than later.

If Sunderland are to enjoy a happy Christmas this year, they’ll need to cause a major upset when they head to Manchester City on Boxing Day.

Ladbrokes make the visitors 12/1 outsiders for three points against Manuel Pellegrini’s heavy 1/5 favourites, with a draw 11/2.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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