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Sunderland’s predicted XI to face Oxford United

Sunderland are the most in-form team in League One over the last five matches.

The Mackems have won seven of their last nine games and are three points off top spot with two games in hand.

The revival under the stewardship of Lee Johnson has been incredible. He has transformed the Black Cats from a rather average looking side to one which should be competing in the Championship.

The football has improved but, more importantly, so have the results.

They now face two massive games in the space of four days. They play fellow promotion hopefuls Peterborough on Monday, but first they’ll encounter the test of Oxford United on Friday.

With football coming thick and fast, how will Johnson’s XI look? Here’s what we’re predicting ahead of today’s 3pm kick-off…

We’re tipping the manager to make two changes from the team which beat Bristol Rovers last time out.

There is a welcome boost at right-back, where Conor McLaughlin returns from international duty with Northern Ireland. He comes straight back into the XI, with Max Power moving forward into his more favoured midfield role.

Should Jones start today?

No way

No way

Definitely

Definitely

Consequently, Josh Scowen drops out of the team. He was desperately poor in the win over Bristol Rovers, completing just 41% of his passes; the worst tally of any outfield player to start the game.

He only made 12 passes in the entire 90 minutes that he was on the field, missing a chance to impress with Grant Leadbitter on the bench.

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Who is the player?

A further change is in attack, where Lynden Gooch drops out. The £5,000-per-week earner is replaced by Jordan Jones, who is fit again after a muscle injury. The Rangers loanee has missed the last four outings but Johnson confirmed on Thursday that he would be in the squad.

Bailey Wright, Jake Vokins and Denver Hume are all still out. However, Hume did play in a behind closed doors friendly earlier in the week as he steps up his recovery, but this game will come too soon for the wing-back in terms of competitive action.

AND in other news, Sunderland must swoop for 25 y/o “great character”, he’s already terrorised McFadzean…

Article title: Sunderland’s predicted XI to face Oxford United

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