Sunderland would look to keep their pursuit for automatic promotion intact when they take on Bristol Rovers in their backyard. The Black Cats won their last match against Gillingham in convincing fashion and would look to replicate the result against Bristol to give their promotion hopes a significant lift.
Bristol, on the other hand, are not having the best of seasons and are currently stranded in the 19th position in the league table. However, they would look to make the home advantage count as they take on the Black Cats at the Memorial Stadium in the weekend fixture.
It comes as good news for Jack Ross as Sunderland don’t have any major injury worry to deal with ahead of the crucial clash. With the business end of the season fast approaching, the Black Cats need all their players to stay in shape and be fit for the challenges up ahead.
Jon McLaughlin is expected to keep his place in the side. Though his performance in the last match against Gillingham was not up to the mark by any means, he would look to put the disappointment behind when the Black Cats take on the Pirates in the next match.
Luke O’Nien is expected to start as the right back. The likes of Tom Flanagan and Jimmy Dunne had a strenuous outing in the last match against Gillingham and would look to dish out a gritty performance as they pair up in the heart of defence. Reece James would also keep his place as the left back.
Grant Leadbitter has become the midfield general for the Black Cats since his move from Middlesbrough in January. He would look to keep up the good work as he pairs up with Lee Cattermole in central midfield.
Captain George Honeyman would start ahead of the duo in the midfield. Chris Maguire and Aiden McGeady would start in the left hand and right-hand sides of the midfield respectively. Lynden Gooch, despite his good form, is expected to start on the bench.
Will Grigg would lead the line for the Wearside club in the next match. The Northern Irish marksman ended his goal drought with a confident strike against Gillingham and would look to carry his scoring form in the next game as well.
Predicted Formation: 4-2-3-1
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