Sunderland will travel to Fratton Park to take on Portsmouth in the second leg of the playoff semifinal. The Black Cats registered a narrow 1-0 victory at home even though they played more than 20 minutes of football with ten men. A win like that would galvanise the team after a shoddy end to the league season as they were winless in their last four games.
However, Jack Ross would be aware that the job is far from over and Kenny Jackett’s men are capable of overturning a one-goal deficit. The game was evenly matched in the first leg, and it could have gone either way. The Wearside outfit would be keen on revenge as the Pompey beat them in the Checkatrade trophy final not too long ago,
The big news for Sunderland is that Alim Ozturk’s red card has been rescinded and he is not set to face any ban. Therefore he will be available for the second leg as well. Experienced winger Aiden McGeady is going to be a major absentee for the club. Reece James is also expected to miss out.
Sunderland Predicted Lineup Vs Portsmouth
Jon McLaughlin wasn’t tested much in goal even though the Black Cats went a man down. However, he will have a tougher game in the away leg. The Scotsman is set to start in goal. Alim Ozturk’s availability is a boost for Ross, and he should start in his centre back role. He should be partnered by Tom Flanagan in the heart of the defence.
Experienced Costa Rican international Bryan Oviedo is set to occupy the left back role. Luke O’Nien who is a midfielder has filled in well as a right back, and even though Adam Matthews is available for selection, O’Nien is likely to continue in the fullback role.
Lee Cattermole is an ever-present figure for the Black Cats in midfield. He is likely to be partnered by Max Power who had a poor game in the first leg. George Honeyman is expected to occupy the attacking midfielder’s role. Chris Maguire scored the winner from the bench, and we feel that he should get the nod to start in the second leg down the right. Lewis Morgan is likely to keep his place down the left, even though he had an average game in the first leg.
Charlie Wyke can hold up the ball much better than Will Grigg, and he is once again expected to start over the January signing.