After rescuing a point at Crewe Alexandra on Saturday, thanks to super strikes from Jordan Jones and Chris Maguire, Sunderland welcome Swindon Town to the Stadium of Light for the first time since 1999, for a 7pm kick off on Tuesday evening.
I was joined by Swindon fan Rich Tomlinson to find out how things are going at the County Ground…
"Recent results suggest we're in good form, having won two of our last three games and drawing the other against Lincoln, but our performance in the win against Crewe was woeful, saying that we played well against Lincoln.”
"Throughout the tenure of John Sheridan our tactics have changed almost every week, but we've played 4-1-4-1 the last few games. Brett Pitman is a bit of a target man. He's starting to score now, scruffy goals, but all that matters is a run of form, but that hasn't really happened. Most of our hopes rest on Scott Twine, who plays behind Pittman, with his reputation to create and score from distance. He’s recently returned from a loan spell at Newport County and I think he'll be our key player for the rest of the season."
Swindon have had a goalkeeping crisis of late and have been relying on 19-year-old reserve Archie Matthews to fill in between the posts, However, on Monday they managed to complete the emergency loan signing of Birmingham City’s Connal Trueman and the 24-year-old Blues keeper will make his debut against Sunderland.
Although Swindon came up as Champions from League Two last season, they have generally struggled, and fans have launched an online petition calling for chairman Lee Power to relieve John Sheridan of his duties. However, Sheridan remains defiant: “The fans have got a right to air their views and they’ve got an opinion. When they see the team not winning, they’ve got a right to voice their feelings. It doesn’t bother me; I’ve just got to concentrate on the team. While I’m here, I’m going to work hard and give 100 per cent to try and turn the results around. That’s the only answer I can give.”
If Sheridan's done his homework, he’s likely to target our left-hand side, given that’s where we’ve conceded the majority of our goals, with both Callum McFadzean and Jake Vokins unfortunately looking suspect in the left back berth.
With Grant Leadbitter sadly facing an injury layoff after dislocating his shoulder in the draw at Crewe, Lee Johnson will have to choose between Max Power, Josh Scowen and Carl Winchester to cover the central midfield spots. Winchester, who has not started a game since the 26th of January, could provide a fresh pair of legs.
With only Northampton Town and Wigan Athletic having conceded more goals than Swindon, I wouldn't be surprised if we see a high scoring game. We're obvious favourites and I'll predict a 3-2 victory.