Lee Johnson’s Sunderland head into their penultimate fixture of the season this Saturday knowing that a win will secure a place in the League One play-off positions.
Following their 1-0 defeat to Blackpool on Tuesday, Johnson’s team now find themselves on a rather alarming run of seven league games without a win, with the Black Cats slipping from a team in contention for automatic promotion to one who are now at risk of slipping out of the top six in the space of a few short weeks.
However, despite this disastrous run, a win against Plymouth Argyle this afternoon would secure Sunderland’s spot in the play-offs, so will Johnson decide to make any changes to the side which started against Blackpool?
Here’s our predicted XI, along with the latest team and injury news…
With a host of injuries to deal with ahead of the trip to Plymouth, including Dion Sanderson, Arbenit Xhemajli, Tom Flanagan and Jordan Willis, Johnson has a number of tough decisions to make ahead of Saturday’s fixture.
Firstly, the 33-year-old McLaughlin immediately slots back in a right-back, freeing up Max Power to move into his natural position of central midfield. The 27-year-old replaces Josh Scowen, who had something of a shocker on Tuesday – with no Sunderland player earning a SofaScore match rating worse than the midfielder’s 6.3 as he failed to register a single shot.
Meanwhile, Aiden O’Brien – who is without a goal in eight appearances – also drops out of the XI, with Jordan Jones coming in to partner Charlie Wyke up front.