Towel already in as Sunderland set for THREE changes against Leeds

Urgh, another football match. Today, we visit Elland Road for the first time since 2006. A similar result today would be decent - we won 3-0 that day featuring Graham Kavanagh's only league goal for the club.

by GMac88 Saturday, 07 April 2018 08:18 AM Comments
Urgh, another football match. Today, we visit Elland Road for the first time since 2006. A similar result today would be decent - we won 3-0 that day featuring Graham Kavanagh's only league goal for the club.


We've barely reacted to Monday's game against Sheffield Wednesday on WAW. This is due to a combination of urgh and meh. However, Lynden Gooch was rated your man of the match, whilst you somehow mustered up a banter rating of 3.14 for Lee Camp. Just trying to delay having to write about today's match.

For today, I'm sure in the dressing room Chris Coleman will be dressing up Sunderland's situation as one we can get out of. We all know the reality. This side is not winning the last six games and therefore are not staying up. Five wins might even be enough - but we aren't winning that many either.

Who's spot is safe?

I think Coleman will stick with 4-5-1 for the remainder of the season. The biggest benefitter of the system switch is our midfield, particularly due to the inclusion of Paddy McNair. For that reason, helped by the lack of viable options, I think the central midfield trio will remain the same.

Donald Love looks set to start again as Adam Matthews is probably going to be needed down the other flank, whilst John O'Shea is an obvious starter in central defence. That is five on this week's safe list;

The safe list

John O'Shea
Donald Love
Lee Cattermole
Paddy McNair
George Honeyman

Tinker row

After conceding three goals with little effort from Sheffield Wednesday on Monday, defensive changes are set to be a feature of today's line up as Coleman considers the fate of six;


Lee Camp
Marc Wilson
Bryan Oviedo
Lynden Gooch
Aiden McGeady
Ashley Fletcher

For all Jason Steele has his flaws - and many of them - at least he makes a save or two. I've never seen a goalkeeper have such little impact on anything as Camp. He just doesn't do anything, which is quite the fatal flaw for a goal keeper since you can't make a save without making a save - which requires doing something. However, I think we will end up sticking with Camp. I'll leave that at that because I can't fathom up any justification for such a decision. 

One of two defensive changes we can expect involves Oviedo, who is said not to be fit after being substituted on Monday. He had an awful game, so I don't think anyone will care too much if he doesn't make it into the starting eleven. Lamine Kone, however, is back and should be back alongside O'Shea after Marc Wilson's shocker. I remember thinking Wilson was a cracking signing. Terrible thing to think it turns out. Imagine pining for Kone - that's how bad things are.

Whilst we're sticking formation, any and all of the front three could end up being replaced. Joel Asoro - our best player - is expected to start, replacing either Gooch or Ashley Fletcher, and I think it will be Gooch who makes way. That would be a shame for the American who was one of the few to come out of Monday's game with some credit, but with Coleman keeping faith in Fletcher and Aiden McGeady (as Asoro doesn't play down his flank), he is the one who would have to make way for Asoro.

Expected line up;

Lee Camp, John O'Shea, Lamine Kone, Donald Love, Adam Matthews, Lee Cattermole, Paddy McNair, George Honeyman, Aiden McGeady, Joel Asoro, Ashley Fletcher.

Apparently Jake Clarke-Salter is available again. I agree, I hope he never sees a Sunderland shirt again.

McGeady's performance at Sheff Wed was very McGeady. He was involved in everything going forward, but his final pass or shot (usually a shot) generally was way off the mark. I counted about 54 efforts from outside the area, every one of them being dragged wide. We need McGeady to be on song to win a football match these days, so let's hope he's had his Weetabix this morning. Not the protein version, what a swiz that is.

Let's be honest it all feels a bit 2017/18 right now. We have to pick a team and we have to play a match, rather than we expect the result to have any impact on the club's future. In reality, many of the players who start today won't be Sunderland players next season - including Camp - which I'm sure you're gutted about.

But for now, we have to put up with another six games. How exciting.