This has been a brilliant week for everyone at Sunderland. They have won their first trophy for 48 years and it feels like at last, they may get promoted.
That being said, their ambitions could be dealt a colossal blow this Saturday. That’s because they face fellow promotion hopefuls Lincoln.
Lee Johnson has successfully engineered seven wins in the Mackems’ last eight league games and has already risen to the challenge of the Imps.
They currently lie in fourth position, just one place behind the Black Cats. However, Johnson’s men beat them 4-0 earlier this season. Thus, they’ll welcome Lincoln to the north-east full of confidence.
Sunderland still have plenty of injuries to contend with, however, so how will they line up on Saturday?
We’re tipping three changes to be made to the team that defeated Accrington in midweek.
The first replacement is up front where Ross Stewart makes his first start in a Sunderland shirt. He returned from injury on Wednesday and scored on his debut, leaping high to head home their opener.
With Jack Diamond hauled off at half-time, we think that he could be dropped with Stewart coming in to lead the line alongside Charlie Wyke.
A further change is in midfield where we’re tipping Max Power to move to right-back with Josh Scowen coming into the middle of the park.
Conor McLaughlin was in the starting XI in midweek for the first time since returning from an injury lay off. With that in mind, we think Sunderland should play things cautiously and rest him.
The final change is at left-back. The £21k-per-week Jake Vokins was given a rare start on Wednesday night. The Southampton loanee has been a bit of a liability since signing in January, though. He was torrid on debut and hasn’t looked overly convincing since.
Consequently, Callum McFadzean takes his place in that area of the pitch.
Sunderland come into this match without Bailey Wright, while Aiden O’Brien and Jordan Jones remain doubts.