Sunderland make the long journey south tomorrow night as they take on Gillingham at Priestfield Stadium. They’ll be backed by over 2,000 fans down in Kent who will be hoping for the Black Cat’s excellent start to the campaign to continue.
Jack Ross said in his press conference that the next few games will still be too soon for Charlie Wyke, Tom Flanagan, Aiden McGeady and Duncan Watmore but the quartet will travel with the squad. Because of this, the starting eleven could well be the same which started the 3-0 win over Scunthorpe last Sunday.
The central midfield pairing of Max Power and Lee Cattermole impressed in that victory and it will be a major coup if these two start at Gillingham tomorrow night. Josh Maja will lead the line once again, fresh from scoring his third goal in as many matches against Scunthorpe, the travelling faithful will be hoping Gillingham are the next club the young striker will find the net against. Adam Matthew, Jack Baldwin, Glen Loovens and Bryan Oviedo put in a professional performance last time out. Depending on a knock Matthews picked up, the quartet at the back should remain the same.
The combination of Lyndon Gooch and Chris Maguire on the wings has been fruitful so far and therefore this pair will be starting down in Kent. Captain George Honeyman will keep his central attacking role in a side which has yielded six goals in the opening three league games for Sunderland.
Sunderland’s likely line-up:
Matthews Baldwin Loovens Oviedo
Maguire Honeyman Gooch
Sunderland have picked up seven points from the first nine available and the opposition tomorrow night have almost as good of a points tally. The Gills have won two of their opening three matches and the Black Cats will be in for a tricky contest. In their previous home match Gillingham defeated a side relegated with Sunderland last season, Burton Albion, 3-1. Tom Eaves has scored three of their six goals so far this season and Gillingham’s number nine will be a handful for Loovens and Baldwin.
Gillingham may have ran out comfortable winners against Burton Albion but they didn’t necessarily dominate with the ball. Sunderland will have a good chance to get their passing game going and if they manage to then Gillingham will struggle to shut down the Black Cats as much as Scunthorpe did last weekend.
Complacency is something which Jack Ross’ side need to avoid as the trip to Gillingham has the potential to be a stumbling block for the Black Cats.
Prediction- Gillingham 1-1 SAFC