Sunderland play host to Ipswich Town on Saturday at the Stadium of Light as they attempt to end a run of three straight defeats in League One.
It was recently reported that Kyril Louis-Dreyfus is unhappy with the club’s management at this current juncture and the pressure is mounting on Lee Johnson to turn things around in the coming matches.
Their last performance did little to help matters as they lost on penalties to Bradford after a 1-1 draw in normal time in the EFL Trophy. They were also dumped out of the FA Cup at home to Mansfield for the second season in a row at the start of the month.
How many changes will Johnson make to the team? Here is our predicted XI…
We are predicting that he will make seven alterations to the side from the Bradford game, with Carl Winchester, Dennis Cirkin, Tom Flanagan, Callum Doyle, Aiden McGeady, Dan Neil and Ross Stewart all coming in.
Hoffmann could keep his place between the sticks, but we are predicting an entirely new back four to the one which faced Bradford. Flanagan and Doyle missed out due to international duty, with the pair now available to return, whilst Winchester and Cirkin could come in for Lynden Gooch and Kenton Richardson.
We recently published an article explaining why Gooch has let Johnson down this season and that is part of the reason why he should be axed from the side, along with him playing out of position at left-back. Meanwhile, Richardson did not do enough against Bradford to warrant another start, as he lost possession a whopping 27 times that night.
In midfield, Dan Neil could come in for Harrison Sohna. The youngster received a SofaScore rating of 6.6 as he won two of his four duels in the match against the Bantams, whilst Neil has averaged a rating of 6.86 in League One this season and chipped in with one goal and five assists.
Finally, Stewart and McGeady could replace Leon Dajaku and Elliot Embleton, with Nathan Broadhead being moved into a wide right position following his goal against Bradford.
Stewart has 10 goals in 15 League One matches this season and has shown that he has the ability to be a match-winner for the Black Cats, which is why he could be relied upon from the start at centre-forward. McGeady has two goals and four assists in 12 league appearances and has averaged a superb rating of 7.11, making a strong argument for his place in the team today.