Altidore to start for Sunderland?

Swell ratings and remarks for U.S. international Jozy Altidore in Sunderland’s big win


Gus Poyet was full of big praise for Adam Johnson after Saturday’s huge win for the Black Cats. Not only was it a derby win over their fierce rivals – don’t think this one will be soon forgotten, a real whuppin’ at St. James Park – three points on the road will be an enormous boost to Sunderland’s efforts at dodging the scourge of relegation.

Poyet’s men find themselves today just a point out of the relegation zone, although that could change with Sunday’s matches.

So, Johnson got the big heaps of praise. Poyet was also spooning out the praise for debuting midfielder Liam Bridcutt, who eased the pain of playing without injured midfielder Lee Cattermole.

(MORE: Sunderland rolls in huge derby win)

But let’s not forget Jozy Altidore’s role in this Saturday to remember for Sunderland. The sources performing player ratings for this one certainly didn’t. Here is some of what Sunderland blog Roker Report had to say, noting that the U.S. man’s previous match against Stoke City was strong, too:

Neither of Newcastle’s central defenders could handle him, he had a big hand in the second goal when his clever flick set Colback on his way and he couldn’t have led the line any better than he did today. He is still not having any luck in front of goal but if he keeps playing this way the goals will come. Superb.

The numerical ratings all were a bit over the top, but the enthusiasm for this one is easy to understand for those truly invested in Sunderland fortunes.

The individual player ratings at were slightly more level-headed, mentioning that that Altidore did miss a finishing touch. He still has just two goals this year after his high-profile transfer out of AZ in the Netherlands.

All of this, of course, would portend great things as Altidore’s huge summer approaches. He’s still Jurgen Klinsmann’s top choice at striker, although that looks like a tenuous hold, as Aron Johannsson keeps scoring in Holland.

Confidence means so much for strikers; today’s unforgettable afternoon at Newcastle could launch a big February, which could launch a big spring, which could … well, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.

“Super computer” predicts final Premier League standings

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With eight games gone and 30 to go in the Premier League, now is the time that those preseason predictions start to get revised and new knee-jerk picks are made.

[ MORE: Klopp’s 10 best quotes ] have run the numbers through their “super computer” — how big is this thing? To me, it’s the size of several rooms… — and the intriguing table will surprise many.

[ MORE: Bradley to coach Sunderland?

Manchester City will win the title, pipping Arsenal to the crown, while Manchester United will finish in third and Chelsea will recover to finish fourth. At the bottom, only Bournemouth will be relegated out of the newly promoted teams, while it is looking bleak for Sunderland and Aston Villa.

[ MORE: Chung to sue Blatter for $100 million

Do you agree with the findings of

Click on this link via talkSPORT to see the points tally for each team, as it promises to be a tight race for the title and against relegation.

Predicted final Premier League table

1- Manchester City
2- Arsenal
3 – Manchester United
4- Chelsea
5- Liverpool
6- Tottenham Hotspur
7- Everton
8- Southampton
9- Crystal Palace
10- West Ham United
11- Swansea City
12- Stoke City
13- Leicester City
14 – West Bromwich Albion
15- Newcastle United
16- Norwich City
17- Watford
18- Bournemouth
19- Aston Villa
20- Sunderland

After defying quit calls, Blatter mediates between FAs

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ZURICH (AP) After defying pleas from FIFA sponsors to quit immediately, President Sepp Blatter is continuing regular business at soccer’s governing body, presiding over a dispute between football federations on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Chung to sue Blatter for $100 million ]

Palestinian Football Union president Jibril Rajoub told The Associated Press: “Blatter is functioning well and in a good mood with common sense, a sense of humor.”

According to Rajoub, Blatter ruled at Tuesday’s meeting with Saudi Arabia’s federation that a decision to force the Palestinians to play a World Cup qualifier at a neutral venue was “invalid.”

[ MORE: Bradley to coach Sunderland?

FIFA’s World Cup committee initially ordered the Oct. 13 game to be relocated from the West Bank to neighboring Jordan after the first leg was played in Riyadh.

[ MORE: Klopp’s 10 best quotes ]

Rajoub says FIFA has now agreed to postpone the fixture until a resolution is found.