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Sunderland are now fully 10 games without a Championship win and are in dire straits in this division, there is no doubt about that.
League One truly beckons unless the Wearside club can turn things around sharply, though having been 3-1 up at Brenford last time they may feel there is enough attacking talent in the squad to get the job done. In losing a two-goal lead, however, their defensive frailties were in evidence once more and they are up against a decent side here.
Simon Grayson, given that an elusive win was so close last week, may stick with the same 4-4-1-1 he fielded at Griffin Park:
The former Blackburn and Middlesbrough stopper is in decent nick right now, though he has a thankless task behind this outfield ten.
Jones has a penchant for a run into the opposition box and should not lose that instinct, despite the current plight of his side.
Often lamented and criticised for his apparent lack of passion, it appears he may be sold off in January.
The former Man United defender has seen better days and it’s hard to imagine him facing relegation to the third tier of English football.
The attacking left-back provided Sunderland’s opener last week and, like Jones on the other side, should maintain his attacking focus in order to help his side arrest this decline.
Another saleable asset, though he is someone the fans won’t want to let go.
Another player whose name is probably on the winter window transfer list, Ndong is a crucial part of the midfield for now and is someone who needs to be at his best at the weekend if Sunderland are to get something out of this.
For me, Cattermole is truly representative of modern day Sunderland AFC; a throwback whose desire to spoil games overpowers his potential influence on them. Whether fans want to believe it or not, players like Cattermole are the reason Sunderland are where they are as much as mismanagement from the owners.
Like his manager, he is starting to look rather flat from what he was at Preston North End last season who continue to progress in Lancashire.
Like Watmore, Honeyman is someone the club could do without losing and he may keep Vaughan out of the side again, with Grabban playing up front.
Two goals last week at Brentford should probably keep him in the starting XI this time.