Taking a closer look at what Sunderland could do in January?

Sunderland have not had the best of campaigns to date and while there has been an upturn in form since Sam Allardyce took charge there is still plenty of work to be done.

As things stand the Black Cats are 19th in the Premier League, but just two points from safety they will know their fate is very much in their own hands.

Sunderland’s recent defeats against Watford and Arsenal ended an impressive run of form that saw them defeat Crystal Palace and Stoke City to suggest things were looking up. But the Christmas and New Year fixtures will give Allardyce plenty of chances to work his magic, while the upcoming transfer window could also throw up a gem or two.

One area where the Black Cats will surely want to improve is defence and a recent report from the Sunderland Echo claimed Allardyce will attempt to sign West Ham united centre-back James Collins next month.

The 32-year-old is unlikely to be a particularly pricey addition and his experience would be invaluable, while there is also a chance Sunderland could look to strengthen their forward line.

After all, goals win matches and Sunderland need every point they can get in the months ahead, so what chance Allardyce renewing the club’s interest in Sebastien Haller?

The Echo claims Haller’s current club FC Utrecht want around £7million for a player who has scored 10 goals in just 16 matches this season, and that would be a small price to pay if it secured top flight safety.

With all that in mind, could this be how Sunderland line up in early 2016?

In other news, 'He's great': Collymore wants Liverpool to sign 29-year-old despite £90m price-tag