With three defeats from their last three games, Sunderland have hit a bit of a roadblock, and their 2-1 defeat to MK Dons last time out in League One left a really bitter taste.
Fans were up in arms over the performance and result, with some even calling for Phil Parkinson to be shown the door. The loss meant that they dropped out of the play-off places, but with a home clash against Doncaster on Saturday, they’ll be hoping to bounce back to winning ways.
The Northern Echo have already suggested that a number of changes may be made for the game, and that really shouldn’t come as a surprise given the side’s recent form.
And with that in mind, below is a look at how the Black Cats might line up on Saturday afternoon.
In goal, Remi Matthews is likely to keep his place in the team despite conceding a couple of goals on his league debut against the Dons last weekend – although in his defence, neither were his fault.
There was no question that Sunderland missed some of their first-choice defenders against the Dons, with both Conor McLaughlin and Tom Flanagan away on international duty with Northern Ireland.
The duo are back in contention for the game, and Parkinson will surely look to recall them both, especially with Jordan Willis set to miss the next few weeks with injury.
That could see Luke O’Nein revert back to a right wing-back position, with Denver Hume keeping his place on the opposite flank. Central midfield may be the one area where Parkinson is reluctant to change things up, with Josh Scowen and Grant Leadbitter forming a partnership in the engine room over the past couple of games.
But with their struggles up front this season – they’ve managed just 15 goals in 11 league games – changes are likely to be afoot. Will Grigg’s return from the wilderness went horribly wrong against the Dons, with a shocking miss really painting a perfect picture of his entire time with the Black Cats.
With Grigg set to be dropped, the versatile Chris Maguire could return to partner usual starter Charlie Wyke.
Predicted XI: Matthews; O’Nein, Flanagan, Wright, McLauglin, Hume; Scowen, Leadbitter, Gooch; Maguire, Wyke.