Lee Johnson’s Sunderland head into Saturday afternoon’s League One fixture in fantastic form, with the Black Cats currently on a run of six games unbeaten in all competitions.
The latest of these fixtures saw the Mackems defeat third-tier table-toppers Wigan Athletic 2-0 in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, with Johnson having named a much-changed starting XI in the victory.
However, with today’s visitors Bolton Wanderers also having impressed in the league so far this season, with Ian Evatt’s side picking up 12 points over their opening eight fixtures of the campaign, Sunderland are sure to have their work cut out if they are to secure all three points against the Trotters.
Will Johnson make any changes to the team which bested Wigan on Tuesday? Here’s how we think Sunderland could line up against Bolton, along with the latest team and injury news…
While a number of Sunderland’s peripheral players did impress against the Latics, we are nevertheless predicting that Johnson will make eight changes to the side which started on Tuesday.
Dennis Cirkin is the only player in the Black Cats’ back five to keep his place in the XI, with goalkeeper Lee Burge, right-back Niall Huggins – who is a doubt for the Bolton clash due to injury – and centre-back duo Frederik Alves and Bailey Wright all dropping to the bench. Ron-Thorben Hoffmann, Carl Winchester, Tom Flanagan and Callum Doyle take their respective places in the side.
In midfield, Luke O’Nien retains his spot in the middle of the park, while £14k-per-week Corry Evans, Aiden O’Brien, Alex Pritchard, Leon Dajaku are replaced by Dan Neil, 23-year-old Nathan Broadhead – who started at centre-forward against Wigan – Elliot Embleton and Aiden McGeady in the starting XI.
Ross Stewart comes back into the forward line, with the aforementioned Broadhead being moved onto the left wing.