Sunderland are back in League One action again on Tuesday night as they travel to face Cheltenham Town.
They are heading into the match without a permanent manager at the helm, with Kristjaan Speakman still in the process of sourcing Lee Johnson’s replacement.
Mike Dodds is set to take charge again in the meantime after overseeing the 2-1 defeat to bottom-of-the-table Doncaster at the weekend.
How many changes will he make to the team? Here is our predicted XI for tonight’s clash at Whaddon Road.
We are predicting that he will make four alterations to the team from Saturday, with Jermain Defoe, Jay Matete, Jack Clarke and Anthony Patterson all coming in.
It could be time for Patterson to be handed a start after some shaky displays from Ron Thorben Hoffmann between the sticks. The German has conceded some weak goals in recent weeks which you could argue that he should have saved, and Dodds may decide that he could benefit from watching on from the bench for this one.
In midfield, Matete could make his full debut in place of Corry Evans. The veteran scored in the defeat for Doncaster but Sunderland could go with youthful, energetic legs in Matete and Dan Neil due to the quick turnaround between matches.
On the right wing, Clarke may get the nod. He produced an outstanding three key passes in 29 minutes off the bench on Saturday, whilst Lynden Gooch managed two in 90 minutes. This means that the Black Cats could be better off starting the on-loan forward ahead of the American.
Finally, Defoe could come in for Elliot Embleton after the attacking midfielder struggled against Doncaster. The £5.3k-per-week gem has enjoyed a strong season, but his performance at the weekend left a lot to be desired. As per SofaScore, he lost six of his seven duels, missed one big chance and failed to register a single key pass.
The 22-year-old has four goals and four assists in League One this term but was unable to show the best of his qualities against Doncaster, which could now lead to him being axed. Defoe could therefore come in and play in a slightly different role as a support striker to Ross Stewart instead of as a traditional number 10.
We are predicting that the rest of the team will stay the same, with Carl Winchester, Danny Batth, Callum Doyle, Dennis Cirkin, Neil, Alex Pritchard and Stewart all keeping their places.