Kids up front, in defence and in midfield; another young Sunderland side to face Hull City today

Sunderland take on Hull City this afternoon with the average age of the starting X

by Brandon_Rawlin Saturday, 20 January 2018 10:27 AM Comments

Sunderland take on Hull City this afternoon with the average age of the starting XI falling by the week. Key positions will be taken by the Black Cats young guns in this latest relegation six-pointer. Here's who's likely to take to the pitch to 'entertain' you this afternoon in a red-and-white shirt. 


Chelsea youngster Jake Clarke-Salter will make his home debut this afternoon in a Sunderland side littered with young talent. Academy product Ethan Robson may be handed a first start for the Black Cats and Josh Maja will continue to lead the line up front. 

20-year-old Clarke-Salter will be joined in defence by fellow loanee Tyias Browning, who at the age of 23 is something of an old head compared with others in the match day squad. John O'Shea will continue in the middle of the rear-guard alongside them as the veteran's value to Sunderland shows no sign of abating despite his advancing years. 

Robbin Ruiter will be between the sticks after another hit-and-miss show last weekend. The Dutchman continues to cost Sunderland a goal most games but has started to prove he can make the odd save at least - which is an upgrade on Jason Steele. 

Adam Matthews may make a return at right-back after suffering a sore calf which has restricted him in training this week. The Welshman has proven equally adept on the left this season, though Bryan Oviedo should be available to fill that slot. The Costa Rican international is surely due a decent game after struggling in recent weeks. 

After the debacle at Cardiff last Saturday, 19-year-old Ethan Robson may be drafted into midfield to try keep a hold of the ball alongside Lee Cattermole who'll probably just point and snarl a bit such is the state of his knackered legs. Lynden Gooch may make way this week after huffing and puffing with zero impact against Cardiff but George Honeyman is sure to continue in midfield. 

Aiden McGeady has returned to fitness and despite being in poor form for months now, the Republic of Ireland international is roughly Sunderland's best chance of taking the ball to Hull and providing support to Josh Maja up front. 

Creating chances has proven to be the Black Cats undoing in recent games with Chris Coleman's side managing to compete in the possession-stakes without ever really testing the opposition with the ball. Sunderland need a spark, but they they need three points more than ever. Haway the Lads n all that.