Sunderland head back to home soil on Saturday afternoon hoping to put an end to their three-game winless run. Rochdale are the visitors to the Stadium of Light.
It’s been a sticky September so far for the Black Cats, two draws and a defeat are plain evidence for a stagnation. Things weren’t improved by the news in midweek that Charlie Wyke will be out for 9-12 weeks, meaning Josh Maja and Jerome Sinclair will be put together up top for most weeks until he returns. For a home game on the back of a poor run, expect them to be paired.
Aidan McGeady came off the bench in the 2-1 defeat at Burton Albion last week, if Jack Ross had a reshape plan in place then he could be given his first start on Saturday. Ideally Adam Matthews would sit out, he hasn’t enjoyed the best run of form. this would open the door for either Tom Flanagan or Donald Love to slip into his place.
Max Power will serve the final match of his suspension meaning the midfield may only change slightly. Chris Maguire did enough at Burton to earn a recall and should Jack Ross opt for the four in midfield Maguire should fit seamlessly onto the wing. The real selection headaches will come next week Power is available once more.
Sunderland likely line-up:
Love Loovens Baldwin Oviedo
Gooch Cattermole Honeyman Maguire
The Black Cats are unbeaten in their four home games so far this campaign, but Rochdale will come to the Stadium of Light. two wins in their last three, including four points from trips to Scunthorpe and Coventry. Veteran forward Ian Henderson has bagged six goals already this season and will be the one to watch for Sunderland along with midfielder Oliver Rathbone. If they decide to come to Wearside and attack from the off then the hosts will be in for a tough afternoon; it’s becoming worrying the way Sunderland keep falling behind on a weekly basis.
Both teams have scored and shipped a lot of goals so far this season, to be precise there have been 52 goals in matches involving the two sides. Not bad considering its only September. More goals can be expected on Saturday in a match which Sunderland need to take by the scruff of its neck. They have shown they can dominate teams, it’s time they start doing it more often.
Prediction: Sunderland AFC 2-1 Rochdale