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Sunderland’s win at an equally bad Burton Albion has done little to mask the doldrums they find themselves in and a home defeat to Reading last time out brought new manager Chris Coleman back down to earth with a thud. They head to table-toppers Wolves at the weekend for what is an uphill task of gaining something out of this game.
Callum McManaman is suspended while Bryan Oviedo was taken off last time and may be replaced by on-loan Everton man Brendon Galloway.
They perhaps don’t possess the players to go with a packed defence in order to attempt to keep Wolves at bay, so a familiar 4-2-3-1 formation may be in evidence instead, featuring a starting XI looking something like this:
The free summer signing has settled now and looks like he’d keep Jason Steele out of the starting line-up once again.
The Welshman is bound to be kept in the side by his countryman Coleman and will start the game at right-back.
Another on-loan defender, Browning should once again line-up in the central defensive role but will need to improve plenty to stop Jota and Bonatini from breaking through.
Has plenty of experience of course, but Wolves’ movement will most likely make him look like a carthorse here and so there’ll be somewhat of a reliance on some bad finishing from Wolves.
A possible change here at left-back and getting forward in order to create chances will be as important as trying to defend against Cavaleiro.
Like O’Shea, Cattermole is unlikely to be able to cope with Wolves’ movement and could be a liability in the middle of the park. Free-kicks will definitely be conceded, whether he receives a card or two remains to be seen.
Younger players will be needed in this position but for now, Gibson is likely to start.
May well come in for McManaman on the right wing.
May once again play as the No.10, supporting the striker, assuming they can get forward enough to do that.
Given the scenario, it’s perhaps not a surprise that he is a shadow of the player who did so well at Preston last season.
The one shining light in the Sunderland line-up, the striker is in fact a target for Wolves. He should start this game up front for the Black Cats.