Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Sunderland: Tony Mowbray must unleash Abdoullah Ba on Saturday

Sunderland return to action in the Championship on Saturday as they take on Burnley at the Stadium of Light with the aim of bouncing back from their last outing in the division.

Tony Mowbray’s side lost 2-0 to his former side Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park and that result has left the club sitting 13th in the table as it stands.

The Black Cats had only lost one of their last six prior to their clash in Lancashire and they will now be looking to avoid back-to-back defeats as they take on Vincent Kompany’s men.

Mowbray may look to shake his team up after a disappointing defeat last time out and one player he must now unleash from the start is central midfielder Abdoullah Ba.

Elliot Embleton started in that position against Rovers but struggled to impress as he recorded a SofaScore rating of 6.6, making one tackle, interception, and block combined, whilst being dribbled past once in 64 minutes.

Should Ba start against Burnley?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Ba came on for him and caught the eye in his 26 minutes of action. The Frenchman won 100% (3/3 and 1/1) of his individual duels and attempted dribbles, whilst completing one tackle and not allowing a single player to dribble past him.

His former boss Paul Le Guen previously claimed that he has “similarities” with Paul Pogba, Lassana Diarra, and N’Golo Kante, saying: “Of course, he still has a long way to go to reach the heights of these three, but I believe he has the potential and strength to become a star on the pitch.”

1 of 10
Sunderland striker Ross Stewart in action

Starting off easy... who was Sunderland's top scorer in 2021/22?

The 19-year-old may not play like a Pogba or a Kante yet but he seemingly has the scope to get there in the future and Mowbray must now see how he deals with starting a Championship match at his age.

Football talent scout Jacek Kulig once described him as a “pearl” and hailed his attack-minded player from midfield on his website, writing:

“[A] player that always tries to find a vertical option in his game with dribbling, progressive runs, and passes/very capable of pushing his team forward to finishing positions.”

This suggests that he could help Sunderland to progress through the lines against Burnley, whilst his statistics off the bench against Blackburn show that he is strong defensively and can provide a shield in front of the defence.

Therefore, Mowbray must forget Embleton and finally unleash the French gem – who has only made five appearances as a substitute so far this season – from the start against the Clarets.

Article title: Sunderland: Tony Mowbray must unleash Abdoullah Ba on Saturday

Please leave feedback to help us improve the site: