Against Bristol City last weekend, Sunderland went into half-time trailing 0-3 but they engineered a miraculous 3-3 draw owing to a herculean effort and managed to bag a point. They are still in the relegation zone though as they are placed at the 23rd spot in the Championship table with 26 points to their name after 31 games.
Chris Coleman’s side are due to host Brentford on Saturday at the Stadium of Light and here is how we expect Coleman to roll out his starting XI.
The Black Cats are set to be bereft of the services of Robbin Ruiter, Marc Wilson, Adam Matthews, Callum McManaman, Duncan Watmore and Darron Gibson through injury and thus, it would not be absurd to state that they are a pretty depleted group at the moment.
Lee Camp is expected to be handed the gloves once again. Camp has conceded 5 goals in 2 appearances so far this campaign but after seeing him ply his trade against Bristol City, it would be harsh on him to say that he performed poorly. However, he needs to fare in a better manner in the upcoming games.
Coleman is expected to go with a five-man defensive wall once again. The trio of Tyias Browning, John O’Shea and Jake Clarke-Salter are expected to be placed at the heart of Sunderland’s backline to protect Camp. The attacking arsenal of the Bees will definitely pose a threat and these three need to be resilient at the back.
Bryan Oviedo should take up his usual left wing-back position and has to showcase his work-ethic and knit a fine balance between his defensive and offensive endeavours. We expect Coleman to pick Billy Jones for the right wing-back position. Sunderland’s backline has been easily breached more often than not this season and the defenders need to build up chemistry amongst themselves to save the blushes of their side.
Lee Cattermole is likely to operate from the deeper position in the midfield with George Honeyman and Ovie Ejaria just ahead of him in the middle of the park. Honeyman and Ejaria will have the license to gallop forward to join his team in the attack. Cattermole will sit back and play the role of a stabilizer.
Joel Asoro and Ashley Fletcher are expected to be partnered up front to lead Coleman’s troops. Both Asoro and Fletcher have had a sub-par season so far and this is the stage where they desperately need to get their act together.