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Sunderland: Mowbray must unleash Elliot Embleton against Watford

Sunderland return to action in the Championship this afternoon as they travel away to face recently-relegated Watford at Vicarage Road.

The Black Cats are currently sixth in the table and will be hoping to retain their position in the play-off spots heading into the first international break of the campaign.

They are currently one point ahead of Watford heading into the match and five points behind Norwich in second-place, the first automatic promotion spot.

Tony Mowbray has won two of his first three games in charge of the club since taking over from Alex Neil, beating Rotherham and Reading 3-0 each, and will be hoping to continue the strong start to his reign.

Sunderland smashed the Royals away from home in their last outing but did come away from the game with a concern as Ellis Simms came off injured in the first-half.

The manager has since confirmed that he has a minor injury and could be involved against Watford this weekend, although he may have to wait until the other side of the break if he is not deemed 100% ready to play.

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Sunderland striker Ross Stewart in action

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

Keeping this in mind, Mowbray must now unleash attacking midfielder Elliot Embleton from the start in place of Simms at Vicarage Road.

The Englishman came off the bench to replace the striker against Reading and caught the eye with a sublime display. He assisted two of Sunderland’s three goals and completed 90% of his attempted passes, which shows that he was reliable in possession whilst still providing quality in the final third.

Journalist Josh Bunting claimed that he is “energetic” and provides a “spark” on the pitch, which was backed up by his creativity in the win in midweek.

Should Embleton start against Watford?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Last season, he was a regular contributor at the top end of the pitch as he chipped in with nine goals and six assists from midfield in League One – including a strike in the play-off final to help secure promotion to the Championship.

The 23-year-old midfielder should now come in to form a fluid front three alongside Alex Pritchard and Patrick Roberts. They are all diminutive playmakers who can rotate across the frontline during games to cause constant problems for the opposition, leaving defenders unsure about who they should be marking.

This would give Embleton the chance to build on his performance against Reading whilst affording Simms the opportunity to rest, on the bench or until the other side of the break, which is why Mowbray must start the £5.3k-per-week magician.

Article title: Sunderland: Mowbray must unleash Elliot Embleton against Watford

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