Sunderland return to League One action this afternoon as new boss Lee Johnson searches to pick up his first points in charge of the north-east giants.
The Black Cats head south to face Lincoln City at Sincil Bank for the 3 pm kickoff.
Last time out, Johnson’s side picked up a 2-1 victory in the EFL Trophy but in his first match in charge, Sunderland were defeated 1-0 by Wigan Athletic at the Stadium of Light.
They need to get back on track if they are to stand a chance of finally gaining promotion from the third tier with the former Premier League club sitting ten points off the league leaders.
Here’s how the XI could look later today…
There could be as many as three changes from Tuesday night.
Starting in goal should be first-choice veteran Lee Burge after young academy goalkeeper Anthony Patterson took the reins at Oldham.
Wolves loanee Dion Sanderson was supposed to also start that match but was pulled from the line-up early after Johnson was informed that he was cup-tied, so we may get a look at the 20-year-old gem this time around, especially after Conor McLaughlin’s disappointing display.
He’ll join Bailey Wright, Tom Flanagan and Callum McFadzean in a back four.
A midfield trio containing Grant Leadbitter, Josh Scowen and Max Power is likely to continue as Johnson’s go-to engine room.
Likewise out wide, we expect to see Aiden McGeady return to the starting XI with in-form goalscorer Chris Maguire on the other flank.
However, Black Cats striker Will Grigg may be dropped having failed to impress in the past week, so the returning Charlie Wyke is given a start at last.
The impressive Jack Diamond could feature from the bench, as could Elliott Embleton, though this match could come too early for Lynden Gooch and Jordan Willis, as per reports from the Chronicle.
AND in other news, Sunderland must offer 21 y/o “standout” new deal or risk Maja 2.0…