Tony Mowbray’s side moved up to ninth in the table with a win at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, with Elliot Embleton and Dennis Cirkin scoring the goals for the home side.
They now come up against a Rovers team sitting fifth in the table with eight wins from their first 15 matches of the season, four points clear of Sunderland.
The Black Cats have six matches in under a month ahead of the World Cup break and the manager may want to rotate his squad to avoid burnout.
So, how many changes will the head coach make from the team that started against the Latics? Here is our predicted XI…
We are predicting that Mowbray will bring in Jewison Bennette, Bailey Wright, and Amad Diallo in place of Jack Clarke, Luke O’Nien, and Lynden Gooch.
Firstly, the manager could alter the formation slightly to a 3-5-2 instead of a 3-4-3 in order to be more solid in the middle away from home, with Roberts dropping slightly deeper to play alongside Elliot Embleton with Dan Neil sitting behind them.
The first personnel change we are predicting is Wright coming in for O’Nien, who is on four yellow cards and on the brink of a suspension. Sunderland face top-of-the-league Burnley on Saturday and he could be rested for this clash to ensure he is able to feature in the huge game at the weekend, rather than being suspended for picking up a fifth card.
On the right, Gooch is a major injury doubt after suffering a blow at the weekend that caused him to be substituted at half-time. His absence would leave the right wing-back position available and we are predicting that Diallo will come into the team after providing a “spark” – as per Josh Bunting – off the bench.
Up front, FFC published an article explaining why Bennette should come into the team to replace Clarke. The “rapid” – as dubbed by Bunting – Costa Rica international could start alongside Alex Pritchard, with no Ellis Simms in the squad as he continues to recover from his injury.