Walsall v Sunderland AFC- Preview
Sunderland make the trip to the Bescott Stadium to face Walsall on Saturday afternoon with the slim chance they could be without several key midfield options. Despite dropping points last week, Sunderland are unbeaten in 12 matches in all competition and, with the exception of an off day against Wycombe Wanderers at the Stadium of Light last week, have been increasingly hard to break down this campaign.
Lee Cattermole is set to miss the next three matches which could see the visitors line up with George Honeyman and Dylan McGeouch in front of the back four. However, it is possible that Max power could return to the starting line-up which would most likely see McGeouch moved forward into the midfield three should Chris Maguire not be declared fit.
Jerome Sinclair led the line in the 1-1 draw against Wycombe last weekend but after bagging his tenth league goal of the campaign last week, top scorer Josh Maja will be in strong contention to replace Sinclair up top should Jack Ross stick to what is becoming a preferred formation of 4-2-3-1. Considering it’s an away day this seems likely. Not for the first time this season, the back four should essentially pick itself.
Sunderland likely line-up:
Matthews Baldwin Flanagan James
Gooch McGeouch McGeady
The Black Cats have been full of goals so far this season and have been great value for money. the formation adopted by Ross has been too much for most sides in the division but they could miss Chris Maguire should he be unavailable. Lyndon Gooch and Aiden McGeady will however supply plenty of attacking flair in his absence. This along with a repeat of the dogged displays from Power and Honeyman would undoubtedly make it a tricky afternoon for the Saddlers.
Speaking of the opposition, they aren’t on the most electrifying run at the moment. One win in the last four sees the West Midlander’s sit in 11th place which perhaps doesn’t do justice to the talent within their squad. Andy Cook tops their scoring charts with seven goals and others such as Josh Ginnelly and Zeli Ismail have also enjoyed good starts to the season.
Sunderland will be keen to get back to winning ways but against a side who should be in the hunt for a play-off place this will be no easy task. A point on the board for either side is my prediction in this one, with a dash of goals to boot.
Prediction: Walsall 2-2 Sunderland AFC