After booking ourselves into the final of the Papa Johns Trophy on Wednesday evening, the lads travel to Burton Albion on Saturday for a 3pm kick off at the Pirelli Stadium, hopefully wrapping up what would be a perfect week on Wearside.
I was joined by TV and radio presenter, and Burton Albion fan Dave Child to preview our game over on SAFC Fan TV, here’s what he had to say...
BURTON'S NEW GAFFER
“Jimmy Floyd Hasseilbank has just changed everything that Jake Buxton, our former manager, was doing and I guess and we’ve brought in an astonishing eleven players. The training and tactics are much better, the injection of confidence is ridiculous. We’ve now got a defence that doesn’t concede any goals, with three clean sheets in the last four games. I think a problem for Sunderland could be that they haven’t got much to look at, in terms of how we play and whose the man to watch as it's a pretty new and changed squad.”
ONES TO WATCH
“One of the biggest changes is that we haven’t got such an old and aging squad now; we’ve got a decent pair of full-backs now, and a young lad on loan from Blackburn called Hayden Carter who I’m sure will get very close to Charlie Wyke. It’s pretty new look going forward though, there won’t be too many lads you’ll recognise from the last time we played you, Lucas Akins, I think, should play; Ryan Edwards is on fire. There's a lot of the lads who are young and hungry, and don’t have that losing mentality we had before.”
Whilst the Brewers defence has improved in recent weeks, it was only last month they lost 5-1 at home to Oxford and given the partnership McGeady and Wyke are growing, any defensive errors are likely be capitalised on. With four goals in their past four games, too, the midlands side don’t appear to posses much threat offensively.
Should Bailey Wright’s injury be deemed as too serious to play, Connor McLaughlin appears to be the most likely to pair with the returning Dion Sanderson at centre back, meaning right back is between Max Power and Luke O’Nien. Aside from that, Jake Vokins and Carl Winchester are also available to return, giving us a plethora of options for midfield rotation.
Despite Burton being bottom of the table and our recent form being positive, we can’t take them for granted, with their tendency to be our bogey team and their recent results, I expect a relatively close game. If we go a goal in front, I can’t see anything but a Sunderland win given their lack of attacking prowess, but this game may appear to be harder than it looks with their recent defensive displays, although I still expect us to get the better of them.
I’m going to predict a 2-0 win for Sunderland