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Sunderland: Alex Neil must axe Patrick Roberts vs Sheffield Wednesday

Sunderland are heading into a crucial period of their season as they aim to once again force their way into the Championship and put their days in League One behind them.

Tomorrow evening sees the Black Cats in action at home against Sheffield Wednesday for their first-leg semi-final play-off showdown before facing the Owls at Hillsborough on Monday.

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Who scored the club's first goal of 2021?

Their previous outing saw the Wearside club secure a 1-0 victory over Morecambe thanks to a tenth-minute goal from striker Nathan Broadhead.

On the chalkboard

One Sunderland player that featured in last weekend’s win that should not be in the team to take on Darren Moore’s side tomorrow is Patrick Roberts.

Since arriving at the Stadium of Light back in the previous January window on a free transfer from Manchester City, the Englishman has made 14 appearances in League One.

In those appearances, the 25-year-old has only scored one goal and only provided one assist.

Looking at his display against Morecambe, the attacker had 55 touches of the ball in total throughout the 90 minutes but could only complete 15 passes.

Should Patrick Roberts start against Sheffield Wednesday?

Yes

Yes

No

No

He also missed one big chance and failed five of the eight dribbles he attempted, showing how ineffective he was on the ball.

Even off the ball he wasn’t much use as the former City winger lost 10 of the 19 ground duels he was involved in as well as getting dribbled past on one occasion and giving two fouls away.

This performance ultimately earned him a rather underwhelming overall match rating of 6.2/10, making him the lowest-rated Sunderland player on the day according to SofaScore.

Chronicle Live also picked up on his uninspiring display by saying that he “got forward whenever he could but too often his final ball was lacking.”

Having previously been slammed by Neil Warnock when the duo were together at Middlesbrough for just trying to do the “unbelievable pass” every time, it seems as though his passing of the ball is still an issue for him.

Taking all of this into account, Sunderland can’t afford to have a player such as Roberts holding the team back once again given the importance of these next two games.

With that in mind, Neil should take the decision to not start the £1.3m-rated dud on this occasion.

In other news: Neil can blow SAFC supporters away with £3.4k-p/w gem who was made “in a laboratory”

Article title: Sunderland: Alex Neil must axe Patrick Roberts vs Sheffield Wednesday

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