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Sunderland predicted XI to face Luton Town

Sunderland face a tough task today, although they arguably could not face Luton Town at a better time after their recent drubbing at the hands of Watford.

Before that reverse at Vicarage Road, the Hatters were enjoying a seven-match unbeaten run in the Championship, including wins over high-flying Blackburn, QPR and Norwich.

Tony Mowbray’s side will be looking to capitalise on their opponents’ potential fragility and showed in the first 45 minutes of their last match against Burnley that they can more than compete with the best in this division.

With plenty of injuries hampering him, it is expected that the Sunderland boss will be forced to continue with a weakened side, with a few tweaks to keep things interesting.

The 58-year-old is expected to make two changes from that disappointing collapse against the Clarets last week.

Anthony Patterson will continue in between the sticks just behind an unchanged back four.

Should Mowbray risk Ellis Simms today?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Despite their poor performances last week, Danny Batth (5.8 on Sofascore) and Luke O’Nien (6.3) will remain at the heart of the defence due to a lack of any real competition.

Dennis Cirkin will continue at left-back whilst Trai Hume occupies the right flank, as both Lynden Gooch and Aji Alese seem unlikely to be available for some time. 

Corry Evans and Dan Neil both retain their places in the midfield engine room. Meanwhile, Alex Pritchard will replace Elliot Embleton in the number ten role.

The 23-year-old has deputised at centre-forward throughout the season, but with the ex-Norwich man set to move in-field from the wide berth he occupied last week, the “talented” Embleton – as dubbed by Mowbray – may lose out this afternoon.

Amad Diallo and Jewison Bennette are hopeful starters for today’s game and expected to provide width, directness and blistering speed to terrify Luton. Meanwhile, Patrick Roberts remains doubtful for this clash and is unlikely to start.

This attacking midfield unit could truly excel against the Hatters’ back three as they relinquish the space on the flanks in order to pack out the penalty area.

Up top, following the return of Ellis Simms to training in midweek, he will likely be thrown straight back into the side to hopefully continue his good form. After scoring three goals in his first two Championship games, the on-loan Everton striker has been injured since mid-September.

However, with Mowbray confirming the 21-year-old’s return and availability, he could spearhead the Sunderland attack and get his side back to winning ways.

Sunderland predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Patterson; Hume, O’Nien, Batth, Cirkin; Evans, Neil; Diallo, Pritchard, Bennette; Simms.

Article title: Sunderland predicted XI to face Luton Town

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