Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Cats Hoping for a Grand Finale from Ace Alvarez; Ricky Key in Vital Run-In, Admits Boss

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Cats Hoping for a Grand Finale from Ace Alvarez; Ricky Key in Vital Run-In, Admits Boss

Article excerpt

Byline: James Hunter Sports Writer @JHunterChron

RICKY Alvarez will thrive on the Responsibility of being Sunderland's principal creative spark in the run-in.

at is the view of Black Cats head coach Gus Poyet, who is con-dent Argentina international Alvarez can ll the void left by the injured Emanuele Giaccherini and the suspended Adam Johnson.

With Sunderland still nding goals hard to come by - despite the signing of striker Jermain Defoe in January - Poyet will look to Alvarez to pull the strings in mideld.

He said: "I think Ricky likes the "responsibility.

"He would like to be playing week in, week out, training every day.

"At the moment we have not achieved that, which has gone against his level of performing in SUNDERLAND v VILLA IN NUMBERS 180 Today's game at the Stadium of Light will be the 180th meeting between the two sides. Aston Villa were part of the FOOTBALL League's formation in 1888 and Sunderland joined two year later in 1890.

11 Draws the two sides have shared in the Premier League era.

1 0-0 draws that the two sides have had combined in the 2014-15 campaign. That includes the goalless draw the pair shared in December.

9 The most goals in a single game between the two. The game came in the 1934 FA Cup and Villa won 7-2.

the whole season." As Poyet suggests, on-loan Inter Milan man Alvarez has had a tough season on Wearside, a series of injuries restricting him to just four Premier League starts so far.

However, the 26-year-old is now fully t and came o"the bench to help Sunderland back into the game in their last outing at Hull City, setting in motion the move which led to the equaliser at the KC Stadium.

Poyet has conrmed Alvarez will start this afternoon's vital home game against Aston Villa as Sunderland bid to end their vegame winless streak in the league and increase the gap between themselves and the bottom three. …

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