Off the back of two cup defeats, the lads hope to return to winning ways and continue their impressive league form. Will any youngsters from the cups feature?
GK: Lee Burge. Neither Patterson or Matthews did enough to dislodge Burge from his comfortable position as first choice keeper.
RWB: Luke O’Nien. Despite injury worries, O’Nien has been training and so will likely start tomorrow, particularly because Conor McLaughlin is currently with Northern Ireland. Phil Parkinson would rather play O’Nien at fifty percent than risk a young and raw Jack Diamond at full fitness.
CB: Jordan Willis. Willis’ inclusion against Fleetwood was an indicator that he may start tomorrow. He looked rusty midweek but that’s to be expected after an injury.
CB: Bailey Wright. Missing out on the two cup matches, Wright will be expecting to start again against MK Dons. A strong leader on the pitch, the rest of the defence always look more organised when Wright is in the team. He’s up for a tough battle against Cameron Jerome’s quality and experience.
CB: Dion Sanderson. Tom Flanagan is away on international duty, so Sanderson will step in on the left. He’s had bright moments so far at Sunderland, and if he impresses here he could replace Tom Flanagan in future games.
LWB: Denver Hume. Despite Callum McFadzean’s sensational start to life on Wearside, he hasn’t played enough games yet to be up to speed for a league game. The competition should push Hume to improve even more, giving us two solid left backs at this level.
CM: Grant Leadbitter. The captain scored the winner against his former club Ipswich, and against an MK Dons side who don’t score many he’ll be sitting in front of the defence and dictating play.
CM: Josh Scowen. Scowen brings energy, tenacity and quality that helps push us up the pitch. With Power and Dobson in awful form, it makes sense to start the former QPR man next to Leadbitter.
RW: Chris Maguire. Maguire is a player who hasn’t hit the same heights as last season. However, he still has the occasional flash of quality that can drag us through games at the flick of a switch. Aiden O’Brien is arguably the only other option here, and the ex Millwall player certainly doesn’t look like pushing Maguire out of the team any time soon.
LW: Lynden Gooch. Gooch’s pace and directness is a great asset which will give 34-year-old Richard Keogh nightmares. Gooch looks confident again and will be looking to supply Charlie Wyke with more excellent assists.
ST: Charlie Wyke. Phil Parkinson rested Wyke for the two cup competitions, and the other strikers haven’t done anything to challenge the big man. As a player who runs himself into the ground every week, Wyke will hugely benefit from the week off; especially as we know he has a bad history of injuries.