Coming off the back of a comfortable victory at the weekend, the lads return to the Stadium of Light against recently promoted Crewe.
GK: Lee Burge. Again, didn’t have the most assured kicking at the weekend but four clean sheets out of five speaks for itself. One way or another, our ‘keeper is statistically one of the most consistent in the league at this point.
RWB: Conor McLaughlin. McLaughlin did look more comfortable at centre half against Swindon, but a lack of defensive depth means Parkinson may persist with Conor at wingback for now.
CB: Jordan Willis. Coming off after 20 minutes at the weekend, Willis’ injury is hopefully not as bad as first expected. In any other circumstance he probably wouldn’t be risked tonight, but again the lack of fit defenders means he’s the only option if he is passed fit to play.
CB: Bailey Wright. Wright has a remarkable record at Sunderland, keeping a lot of clean sheets when he plays. His inclusion always adds a calmness and a bit of quality that we don’t have without him.
CB: Luke O’Nien. The makeshift centre half didn’t performed well at Swindon and with Tom Flanagan suffering with an ankle issue, one of O’Nien or McLaughlin will likely have to step in on the left of a back three.
LWB: Denver Hume. Phil Parkinson has suggested that the wingback is fit again for tonight and could feature. He’ll be a welcome addition to an unfamiliar defence.
CM: Grant Leadbitter. Arguably our best player this season so far, Leadbitter has cemented his place in the team and has to start whenever he’s match fit. The only concern is his age because the games are starting to come thick and fast.
CM: Max Power. Power’s tenacity complimented the team really well on Saturday and the midfield man should start again against Crewe.
CM: Josh Scowen. Arguably the trickiest decision today is trying to accommodate the three man midfield, whilst also keeping the most attacking players on the pitch. Because of Hume’s return, the inclusion of Scowen could mean that Lynden Gooch is dropped rather harshly after a great weekend for the American.
ST: Chris Maguire. Maguire won’t be a traditional striker and will play just off of the target man up front. After winning the penalty and scoring it at Swindon, he’ll hopefully keep his good form for the home game tonight.
ST: Charlie Wyke. The strikers haven’t been impressive recently, but Wyke’s goal and decent performance at Swindon means he’s likely to retain his place as Sunderland’s number nine.