Sunderland return to league action on Saturday afternoon as they make the trip to Shropshire to face Shrewsbury Town.
With last week’s home match with Blackpool being called off due to international call ups, Sunderland will look to use the extra week off to their advantage. One key member will be making a return to the side which is sure to be a massive boost for the Black Cats.
Lyndon Gooch will likely come straight back into the starting eleven at the expense of Aiden McGeady. Max Power will be sitting out the first of his second three match suspension of the season after seeing red in the 2-1 victory at Bradford. There is some competition as to who will replace him in the centre of the Sunderland midfield. Dylan McGeouch was putting in some performances during Power’s last exclusion from the side. Ethan Robson’s superb display during the 3-1 over Carlisle United in the Checkatrade Trophy was rewarded with a goal and a place in the starting line-up on Saturday would not be undeserved. It seems more likely that Jack Ross will go with the more experienced McGeouch but a starting place for Robson will surely not be far away now.
The remainder of the line-up should essentially pick itself. The back four didn’t put in the greatest performance at Bradford but they are still arguably the strongest set of defenders at Ross’ disposal. Man of the moment Josh Maja will be looking to reach double figures at the New Meadow Stadium. The 4-2-3-1 set up seems to be a favourite of Ross’ and this will continue this weekend.
Sunderland likely line-up:
Matthews Baldwin Flanagan James
Gooch Honeyman Maguire
Sunderland’s’ hosts have failed to live up to the heights of last season’s play-off campaign so far this year. Two wins from 13 sees The Shrews sit in 17th place. They can take solace in the fact they have only tasted defeated in one of their six home games this season and amongst these they went to league leaders Portsmouth and came away with a hard-earned point. New Meadow has been a fortress in recent years, with Shrewsbury picking up 14 wins on home turf last campaign on their way to third place.
There are no easy games in League One, and Saturday will be no exception. None of you will be surprised to know that there will be a sell-out following for the visitors in Shropshire, as is now customary for a Sunderland on away days.
Prediction: Shrewsbury Town 0-1 Sunderland AFC