Five burning issues facing David Moyes ahead of Sunderland v Montpellier

David Moyes and his coaching staff
David Moyes and his coaching staff

Sunderland play the final match of their tour of France today, against Montpellier HSC at the Stade Jacques Forestier, in Aix-les-Bains.

The Black Cats have won all four pre-season games so far ahead of their penultimate test before the start of the new campaign.

Today's match is a 5pm kick-off UK time and you can follow it via our live blog here:
Ahead of the game, here are five talking points:

1) Team selection?:

David Moyes is expected to name his strongest available team today. Jermain Defoe is out with a thigh strain, while Patrick van Aanholt will undergo a late fitness test.

The Dutchman has tightness in his groin and was subbed in the 3-2 win over Dijon on Wednesday.

Duncan Watmore in action

Duncan Watmore in action

Vito Mannone is set to return in goal, with Younes Kaboul and Everton target Lamine Kone in defence.

2) What system will Moyes play?

Moyes favours a 4-1-4-1 or 4-2-3-1 formation, with the full-backs pressing high up the pitch, playing high-intensity football.

It will be interesting to see how Sunderland line up for the Montpellier game with only Borussia Dortmund to come next Friday in Austria before the first game of the new season.

Jan Kirchhoff

Jan Kirchhoff

3) Who starts in goal?

Italian stopper Mannone looks to be winning the race to be Sunderland's number one this season.

Mannone has only conceded one goal away at Rotherham United and has generally impressed with his all-round play.

He has also looked good in training, making some superb saves in shooting practice before the players head in for lunch.

Jordan Pickford started against Dijon but is set to be on the bench today. His kicking wasn't up to his usual standard on Wednesday night.

4) Charles N'Zogbia battling for contract:

As revealed by the Echo, Moyes will hand N'Zogbia another chance to earn a deal at the club.

The former Aston Villa and Newcastle United midfielder has been on trial and has produced a mixed bag of performances.

Poor against Hartlepool United, his performances have improved since including a goal and assist against Rotherham. Watch this space.

5) Who will lead the line in Defoe's absence?

Duncan Watmore or Fabio Borini are likely to lead the attack against Montpellier.

But don't be surprised to see 17-year-old Joel Asoro handed another start after his goal and assist against Dijon.

Sunderland are short in the striking department after the summer departures of Danny Graham and Steven Fletcher, while Dame N'Doye left the club after his loan spell.

Defoe's thigh strain is a major concern ahead of the new season, although club medics are confident he will be fit for the Manchester City game.