Jack Ross' first starting eleven - SIX competitive debuts expected

We know how much you like it when we tell you who is going to play and get it completely wrong. New season, same us - here we go!

by GMac88 Saturday, 04 August 2018 07:36 AM Comments

This has, without a doubt, been the busiest summer of all time. From the takeover aftermath to the World Cup, to stripping the club's woefully crafted seams and stitching it back up. It's been fun. Distractions step aside, it's time to return home to the Stadium of Light and actually watch Sunderland win on the opening day at home. You'd have to go back more than a decade to revisit such a feat.

Whatever the exact line up will be won't change the fact that it will be weird. Weird in the sense that we won't have watched many of them play before. Weird because they actually want to play. And, perhaps weirder still, they may actually put a shift in.

Honestly, I've been sceptical in many parts of pre-season. Like I was sceptical of England's World Cup ambitions. However, much like England, I bought into absolutely everything and boy have a bought into Sunderland's League One campaign to the extent of emotional bankruptcy.

Normally how this would go is I'd say who is safe and who isn't from the last match, which I can't really do here. Instead, let's hoy some probability for each newboy starting;


Jon McLaughlin: No relation to me. Honestly. But 100% starter tomorrow, the number one shirt guaranteed what we already thought was the case. And it would be correct too, with his rivals being Robbin Ruiter - who we all know leaves much to be desired - and the inexperienced Max Stryjek.

Charlie Wyke: 0%. Purely through injury.

Alim Ozturk: 30%. I think Ozturk will play a few games this season, but won't be part of the first choice centre back pairing.

Jack Baldwin: After captaining Peterborough last season I find it hard to believe he won't be the first centre back on the team sheet. 100%.

Glen Loovens: 70%. Feels like the most obvious pick to line up with Baldwin given his immense experience.

Tom Flanagan: 20%. The defender certainly seems like our utility option, therefore I don't think he'll be in the first eleven unless there are injuries.

Reece James: With Donald Love and Adam Matthews still here, he might find cementing left back as his own difficult. 30%.

Dylan McGeouch: Difficult to see Sunderland not starting McGeouch usually who represents one of the bigger scoops of the summer in my opinion. He is a significant fitness doubt though, 50%.

Luke O'Nien: The signed was hyped up so much, as has the player since arriving - you sense he is going to be a big deal. 90%.

Chris Maguire: Played on the wing throughout pre-season and I don't expect that to change, keeping Aiden McGeady out. 80%.

Jerome Sinclair: It's either him or Josh Maja up front, reckon we'll go for the new lad. 80%


Predicted Sunderland line up;

McLaughlin, Loovens, Baldwin, Love, Matthews, Cattermole, O'Nien, Honeyman, Gooch, Maguire, Sinclair.

Ha waaaaaaaay!