Sunderland travel to the Wham Stadium to face Accrington Stanley tomorrow afternoon in what will be the first meeting between the two sides for over 120 years. the Black Cats go into the fixture second in the league whilst their hosts are bottom of the form table, losing their last three matches.
Sunderland’s Chris Maguire should be fit to return to the starting line-up for the trip to Lancashire and despite starting in the midweek Checkatrade Trophy win over Notts County, there’ll be no place on the bench for Duncan Watmore. Lee Cattermole has returned to training but is still someway of fitness meaning that the midfield five should look very similar with Max Power and George Honeyman resuming roles in front of the back four.
Aiden McGeady has been in sublime form of late, with six goals in his last five appearances. Lyndon Gooch isn’t far behind; the American midfielder has six goals and eight assists this campaign. This pair and Chris Maguire will be looking to create all sorts of problems on Saturday afternoon.
One change in the back four could come in the form of Jack Baldwin being replaced. The former Peterborough captain struggled in the cup match at Walsall last weekend and he may be given a rest, with Glen Loovens and Emil Ozturk waiting in the wings after impressing in the 2-0 win over Notts County.
Sunderland likely line-up:
Matthews Baldwin Flanagan James
Maguire McGeady Gooch
Accrington Stanley have dwindled of late after a decent start to life in league one. Three wins in ten on home turf will make good reading for Sunderland fans, especially considering the black cats are unbeaten on the road in nearly three months.
Billy Kee scored in two of the three home wins for Stanley, combined with Sean McConville the pair have bagged 14 of their sides 22 goals this season. Keeping these two quiet as much as possible will be vital for Jack Ross’ side, a reshuffle of the back four could be the reasoning for this.
The atmosphere in the Wham stadium should be electric, with over 5000 packed into the quintessential football ground, well over half travelling from Wearside. Accrington will be up for the challenge; however Sunderland are a side in great form and the goals are flowing. I can see a few more flooding down from the North East tomorrow afternoon.
Prediction: Accrington Stanley 1-3 Sunderland AFC