Sunderland’s second long distance away game in a week sees them visit AFC Wimbledon on Saturday afternoon.
The 4-1 mid-week win at Gillingham was a professional performance and if the Black Cats start with the same tempo on Saturday then the hosts will be in for a tough afternoon. The midfield options were given a boost with Dylan McGeouch coming off the bench to make his debut, yet it’s hard to see him making his first start at Kingsmeadow.
The five-man midfield set up has been hugely successful so far for Jack Ross. This is therefore how the men in the middle will line up on Saturday. Lee Cattermole and Max Power have developed a fantastic partnership sitting just in front of the back four. The pressing of both makes it difficult for opposition midfielders to get any time on the ball. The three in front of Power and Cattermole should also remain the same, however with a range of midfielders waiting in the wings the pressure to carry on performing will be on their shoulders.
Likely Sunderland line-up:
Oviedo Loovens Baldwin James
Gooch Honeyman Maguire
Sunderland’s back-line will most likely line up in the same way it did at Gillingham. Bryan Oviedo and Adam Matthews picked up knocks in the match against Scunthorpe last Sunday and missed out on the win at Gillingham. Donald Love and Reece James came in at full back and will most likely keep their places for Saturday’s match. if one was going to be dropped, it would be Love making way for Oviedo at left back. Charlie Wyke is still not ready to make his debut, Josh Maja will retake his role as loan striker hoping to add to his four goals already this campaign.
The hosts will be boosted by the return of captain Deji Oshilaja, the centre back missed the midweek defeat to Walsall but should be part of the squad for the visit of Sunderland. The Wombles have picked up five points so far this season, with their one win coming at Fleetwood on the opening day. The Kingsmeadow stadium is compact and will be a stadium few Sunderland players have experienced. The hosts were unfortunate not to get anything out of their midweek match, putting a stop to Sunderland’s unbeaten start will be top priority.
It will be another tough test for Sunderland, but it will be one which I think they will pass with flying colours.
Prediction- AFC Wimbledon 0-2 Sunderland AFC