Two weeks is a long time in football; something Sunderland and Lee Johnson have found out recently.
They have now failed to win their last five league games, leaving the Black Cats’ automatic promotion hope in tatters. They are lacking the fluency and rhythm we had became so accustomed to seeing from them in the last few months.
However, in typical Sunderland fashion, they are beginning to bottle things. A 2-2 draw with league leaders Hull City in midweek was a good result on paper but they will be eager to finally bounce back when they face Accrington Stanley on Saturday.
Given how poor they’ve been over the last fortnight, how will they line up this weekend? Here’s our predicted XI…
We’re tipping Johnson to make just the two changes from the team which drew with the Tigers.
The first thing to note in the XI is that we think Aiden McGeady will miss out. The manager revealed that the Irishman is “50-50” to face Accrington on Saturday as the winger still has significant bruising on his foot which is making it difficult to kick a ball.
He didn’t face Hull in midweek either but, in order to give Sunderland an extra dose of spice in the final third, we think Josh Scowen should be dropped.
That sees Chris Maguire return to the starting XI for the first time since December. The attacker has had to wait patiently on the sidelines but, after a period where he’s regained fitness while playing for the under-23s, Johnson should finally unleash him.
The other change is at left-back, where Callum McFadzean drops out. The left-back has been a liability of late and was absolutely terrorised by Mallik Wilks a few days ago.
With that in mind, Denver Hume comes back into the XI to make only his second start since returning from injury.