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Sunderland predicted XI to face Bristol Rovers

Sunderland have a real chance to move into the League One automatic promotion spots this weekend.

They will need to see off the challenge of Bristol Rovers first and foremost before hoping that Peterborough suffer defeat.

Their little hiccup against Blackpool in midweek has made the race for promotion even more intense.

The Mackems are one of the most in-form sides in the division, so you’d be hard-pressed to bet against them taking all three points again on Saturday.

They come into this clash having won seven of their last nine matches in League One.

With that in mind, there is surely little room for change in the Black Cats starting XI? That being said, we’re predicting two to be made from the team which drew with Lincoln.

We think that Johnson will continue with the 4-3-3 formation he adopted against Lincoln. That means a trio of Lynden Gooch, Aiden McGeady and Charlie Wyke start in attack.

There is one change in midfield, where the £13,000-per-week Grant Leadbitter drops out. We’ve already labelled the problems with his game in recent weeks, so now feels like a timely occasion to put him back on the bench. Consequently, Josh Scowen starts in the middle of the park.

Who should start this weekend?

Leadbitter

Leadbitter

Scowen

Scowen

We’ve also championed the need for Ollie Younger to get more minutes. He started against Rochdale and, with another game against a relegation-threatened side, Johnson should put him in at right-back today.

Conor McLaughlin has only just returned from a hernia operation and should be rested as he continues his comeback trail.

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Who is the player?

Sunderland are still without a number of players heading into this clash. The match will come too soon for Bailey Wright, while Tom Flanagan remains sidelined.

Also out is Jordan Jones – Johnson gave him a 30% chance of being ready for this match so he is a major doubt.

AND in other news, Forget Willis: SAFC must unleash rarely-seen 21 y/o, Johnson said he’s a “great kid”…

Article title: Sunderland predicted XI to face Bristol Rovers

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