Sunderland’s chances of survival in the Championship suffered another blow last weekend as they were beaten 1-0 by Queens Park Rangers at the Loftus Road Stadium. The Black Cats are placed at the 24th spot in the league table and they desperately need to cultivate herculean efforts from here onwards to refrain from getting doomed at the end of the season.
On Saturday, Chris Coleaman’s side are going to host Preston North End at the Stadium of Light. Here are the latest team news of Sunderland and how we expect them to start against Alex Neil’s entourage.
Jason Steele will sit out during the clash against Preston North End after seeing the red card against QPR last weekend and Robbin Ruiter is still recovering from a dislocated finger. Jake Clarke-Salter is available after completing his three-match ban but Jonny Williams has been ruled out for a month owing to his torn thigh muscle.
Besides, Paddy McNair, Duncan Watmore and Tyias Browning are still on the treatment table, but Darron Wilson and Marc Wilson have returned to the training following their groin problem but they lack match fitness and are unlikely to be rushed into the starting line-up.
With Steele out due to suspension and Ruiter still injured, Lee Camp is expected to be stationed between the sticks. It would be a massive opportunity for Camp to stake his claim and he certainly needs to be at his best against the Lilywhites.
We expect Coleman to continue with a four-man defensive wall comprising of Adam Matthews, Lamine Kone, John O’Shea and Bryan Oviedo. While Kone and O’Shea would be placed at the heart of Sunderland’s defence, Matthews is expected to start from the right-back slot whereas Oviedo is expected to take the left-back position.
One of the most experienced players in the ranks of Sunderland, Lee Cattermole is set to be shown the green light to start from the central defensive midfield position. Cattermole has been working really hard this season to make his presence felt and how he fares until the end of the season could have a major say in determining his side’s whereabouts at the end of the season.
Ovie Ejaria is set to be partnered with Ethan Robson in the central midfield. Meanwhile, George Honeyman is set to get the nod to start form Coleman to start from the left side of the midfield. Joel Asoro has been one of the few bright sparks for Sunderland this season and he is expected to operate from the right side of the midfield.
Ashley Fletcher’s form up front has been questioned by the fans and media but we expect Coleman to start him once again as the striker against Neil’s side. However, time is running out for Fletcher and there is no denying that he needs to score goals to keep his place in the starting line-up.
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