Charlton Athletic can move into the League One play-off zone with a win this afternoon, but standing in their way is fellow promotion-chasers Sunderland as the two go head-to-head at the Stadium of Light.
The Addicks’ second Easter clash was postponed, so they head into this one on the back of a 1-0 victory over Doncaster Rovers last time out, whilst the Black Cats drew with Peterborough United in a top-of-the-table clash.
This will be Nigel Adkins’ third game in charge since taking the helm following the departure of Lee Bowyer last month. But what sort of XI could he name today?
Here’s the XI we’re predicting…
There could be as many as three changes for the trip to the northeast.
Much of the back four that kept a clean sheet against Rovers should remain, barring one alteration at right-back as the vastly experienced Chris Gunter comes back in over 29-year-old Adam Matthews.
The 31-year-old could be needed in a fixture of this magnitude, so he’ll start alongside skipper Jason Pearce and Ryan Innis in the middle, with Ben Purrington continuing at left-back.
All in front of Ben Amos between the sticks.
In midfield, usual stalwarts Jake Forster-Caskey and Darren Pratley will surely remain, though Andrew Shinnie could start alongside them in the engine room, meaning Alex Gilbey faces the axe.
Further up the pitch, we’re predicting Addicks top goalscorer Chuks Aneke to return to the starting XI, possibly on the left flank as Preston loanee Jayden Stockley continues through the middle in the absence of Conor Washington.
The 27-year-old dynamo replaces Diallang Jaiyesimi, whilst Ian Maatsen, a full-back by trade, could remain on the right wing after scoring his first senior goal in the role against Doncaster.