Sunderland make the relatively short journey down to West Yorkshire to face a struggling Bradford City side.
The Black Cats aren’t in the best run of form themselves. One win in five has seen them fall off the pace of the top two sides just slightly, but this weekend should provide a good chance to get back to winning ways.
Sunderland will be boosted by the return of September player of the month Lee Cattermole, the midfielder missed out on the draw against Peterborough due to suspension. Cattermole has been playing like a new man this campaign and Sunderland are a much better side when he starts. At Bradford, he should come back into the side and reinstate his partnership with Max Power. Not many centre midfield pairings this season have been more consistent than these two.
With the confirmation that Denver Hume is out for six weeks and that Bryan Oviedo is likely to miss the next three matches, there could be a return to the starting line-up for Reece James. He’ll have several chances to prove he can be a better option than both Hume and Oviedo. Other than this, the Sunderland defence should be unchanged. Tom Flanagan and Jack Baldwin started alongside each other at centre half on Tuesday night and there’s no reason this will change at Bradford on Saturday. Josh Maja and Jerome Sinclair linked up well last time out and if they repeat their performance at the Northern Communications Stadium then the Yorkshire side could be in trouble.
George Honeyman missed out in midweek, but he may get back into the side as I feel Ross may go for a 4-2-3-1 formation to start with, despite the encouraging performance from Sinclair. Aiden McGeady should make his second start of the season also.
Sunderland likely line-up:
Matthews Flanagan Baldwin James
Maguire Honeyman McGeady
Sunderland’s opposition have not enjoyed a great start to the season. Their win last time out at Wimbledon was only their third of the season and only one of these victories has come on home soil. It should be seen as an ideal opportunity for Sunderland to get back to winning ways but their opposition can’t underestimated.
The first half of the Peterborough contest was arguably some of the best football Sunderland have played so far this season. They will go to Bradford supported by yet another sell out crowd of over 2,500 and a repeat of the midweek display should see them through to an important three points in Yorkshire.
Prediction: Bradford City 1-2 Sunderland AFC