Sunderland will be looking to make it back-t0-back wins in the Championship when they take on Cardiff City at the Stadium of Light on Saturday and Tony Mowbray can get the stadium rocking by unleashing Ellis Simms.
Goals from Alex Pritchard and Amad Diallo secured a 2-0 win against Huddersfield in midweek and Mowbray will want his side to finish strongly in their last two games ahead of the World Cup break.
Simms recently made his return from injury and made a big impact from the bench against the Terriers on Wednesday night, providing the assist for Diallo’s late goal which secured three points for the Black Cats.
The Everton loanee has been impressive since joining in the summer, contributing three goals and one assist in 10 Championship appearances, which has helped him earn a 6.88 average rating from WhoScored.
This ranks him as the fourth-best performer in Mowbray’s squad, which emphasises his importance at the Stadium of Light, and with the top performer and fellow striker Ross Stewart still sidelined through injury, it makes sense that he earns a start against Cardiff this weekend.
Simms can provide an aerial presence up top that other currently available Sunderland attackers lack, as his average of 2.6 aerials won per game is only bettered by Stewart and Danny Batth in the squad.
He has also averaged the second-most shots per game so far this season which emphasises how dangerous he can be in the final third, and his finishing ability could be the difference on Saturday afternoon as Sunderland look to get another win on the board.
It is no surprise that Simms is making his mark at Sunderland having impressed in previous loan spells at Blackpool and Hearts, where he hit a combined 17 goals, with former Hearts boss Robbie Neilson labelling the 6 foot 2 titan “outstanding” during his time at Tynecastle Park.
Simms provides a big threat in attack and after such a morale-boosting win in midweek, starting the Everton loanee on Saturday could see Mowbray’s side look even better against Cardiff.