Sunderland travel to the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium as they face Championship side QPR in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup tonight.
The Black Cats head into the match off the back of a 1-0 home defeat to Charlton in League One at the weekend, with Lee Johnson’s side looking to bounce back with a positive result in the cup competition.
Jayden Stockley scored the only goal of the game as the Addicks were able to end Sunderland’s four-match winning run in all competitions.
How many changes will Johnson make to his side? Here is our predicted XI…
We are predicting that he will make four changes from Saturday, with Corry Evans, Bailey Wright, Lynden Gooch and Leon Dajaku coming into the team.
Sunderland are up against a team from the division above them and this could cause Johnson to make minimal tweaks rather than going with an almost fully-changed XI despite it being a Carabao Cup match. Therefore, the goalkeeper and three of the back four could remain the same, with the only switch coming in the form of Wright for Callum Doyle.
The teenager, who is on loan from Manchester City, could be given a rest ahead of a return to League One action next weekend. Wright has the experience of 130 matches at Championship level and is a reliable option to come in and do a job alongside Tom Flanagan at the back.
Speaking of experience, we are predicting that veteran Evans will come in for young Dan Neil in central midfield. The Northern Irishman has 267 Championship appearances to his name in his career and could have the nous to put in a solid display against QPR in the middle of the park.
In the number 10 position, Gooch could make his return to the starting line-up. He came off the bench against the Addicks to make his first appearance since 18 September and could come in for Alex Pritchard.
We published an article explaining why the £30k-per-week dud should be axed from the team tonight. He put in a disappointing performance against Charlton at the weekend, with Gooch now having a chance to rediscover his match fitness.
The final change we are predicting is German winger Dajaku starting out wide on the right in place of Aiden O’Brien. Johnson could axe the Irish forward after he failed with four of his five attempted dribbles and created zero chances against Charlton, allowing the Union Berlin loanee to start and show his manager that he is deserving of more minutes in League One.