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Roker Round-Table: Win, Lose or Draw; How will Coleman’s Mackems fare this afternoon at Cardiff?

Our writers give their thoughts on how they think our game this afternoon in Cardiff will play out. Can we upset the odds and achieve victory?

Sunderland v Cardiff City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Sunderland AFC/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Mark - @Carrima

I have to say, with all the positivity Coleman has brought, results are yet to show a consistent improvement.

Our home form remains problematic, despite the Fulham win, but on the road we are doing better. The point at Wolves shows what we can achieve against the Championship’s top sides, and a win against Forest the last time we took to the road for a league game was most welcome.

Taking his new Sunderland side into his home country of Wales will be interesting for Coleman. Surrounded by home fans that no doubt loved the guy for all he achieved for their nation, Coleman will experience a warm welcome, I’m sure. But there it will end. Cardiff are on a poor run of results and will see our visit as an opportunity to get back on track.

However, I do fancy Coleman to be fired up and have his players ready. They owe him a performance after the Cup defeat and subsequent comments. We do seem to bounce back from a poor result with a decent performance (Forest after Sheff Utd, for example), so I reckon we’ll be going there to compete.

Do we have enough to win it, though? I’m not so sure, but if the midfield perform you never know. Another credible draw against a top side may be the outcome.

Prediction: Cardiff 1-1 Sunderland

Wales vs Panama - International Friendly
Coleman will make a hero’s return to Cardiff today
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Adam - @DEG_adamjohnson

Despite sitting third in the table, Cardiff are currently enduring their worst run of form of the season. Can we make it five losses in a row for The Bluebirds?

Admittedly, we’re struggling to even field 11 players and everything seems to be going wrong for us, but these are the times when Coleman has previously got the best out his players and miraculously produced a result.

As you saw at the Stadium of Light earlier in the season, Cardiff have some dynamic players that we need to try and contain. Similar to the Wolves game, I expect Coleman to sit in and frustrate the opposition with a compact midfield full of energy.

With Cardiff being at home and the impetus being with them, it could just play into our hands. I’m going for a hard fought draw.

Prediction: Cardiff 1-1 Sunderland

Sunderland v Cardiff City - Sky Bet Championship
Lynden Gooch scored a penalty the last time we faced off with Cardiff.
Photo by Sunderland AFC/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Jake Hannah - @jake_hannah

Whenever Cardiff are mentioned, my first thought turns to the 4-0 hammering of the Bluebirds in one of our many great escapes. We now find ourselves in the same situation but in the league below, with very little hope for an upturn in fortunes this time around.

That being said, Cardiff aren’t doing too well at the moment, losing each of their last four. Barnsley were on a similar run of form prior to their victory at the Stadium of Light though, which doesn’t exactly settle my nerves.

With the likes of Bolton, Birmingham, and Burton starting to pick up points on a more consistent basis, this is already feeling like a must-win game against the team that sit third in the league.

I would like to see the likes of Elliot Embleton and Ethan Robson given a run in the team now. I honestly think our youthful setup could do a job on the Welsh outfit, and for that reason I’m predicting a narrow victory.

Prediction: Cardiff 1-2 Sunderland

Middlesbrough v Sunderland - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round
Could Robson follow up his Cup debut with a League debut?
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Alex - @AlexRokerReport

I reckon this is a tough one to call. We’re away to the side who currently sit third in the league but have lost their last four on the bounce. Meanwhile, we’re attempting to adjust to life after glorified tap-in merchant Lewis Grabban, and will most likely hand hot prospect Jake Clarke-Salter his debut in the heart of our defence.

Yeah, a lot of conflicting variables to cram into one paragraph, but ultimately my spirits aren’t lowered any more than what they already were.

We’re undoubtedly going to struggle for goals, but narrow victories have been a staple of the Coleman era so far - and hopefully the addition of the highly-rated Clarke-Salter helps us maintain our defensive shape as we look to frustrate Cardiff into their fifth consecutive loss.

Prediction: Cardiff 0-1 Sunderland

Sunderland Unveil New Loan Signing Jake Clarke-Salter
Straight into the deep end for young Clarke-Salter!
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Connor - @ConnorBromley

I said on the podcast this week that I could not see us scoring. We have not signed a striker since then, so my stance remains the same. We should look at a point as a good result and I would take a 0-0 right now.

Ultimately I just do not see that happening. I think Cardiff will get a goal and protect it. We do not have the quality to break down a side that is decent defensively and I think we will be edged out 1-0.

Prediction: Cardiff 1-0 Sunderland

Soccer - Nationwide League Division One - Cardiff City v Sunderland Photo by Matthew Ashton/EMPICS via Getty Images

Graham - @AsylumDoors

You want some optimism? No-sir-ree. We’ll get beaten again.

Cardiff are depleted and on a bad run of form but are starting to get their important players back, and are solid in defence when Sean Morrison and Sol Bamba play together - which they will - meaning we’ll more than likely try and fail to launch a ball at poor Josh Maja’s head for ninety minutes. Depressing.

Kenneth Zohore tortured us at the Stadium of Light, and none of our centre-backs will be able to cope with his pace and sheer power. Jake Clarke-Salter is obviously a talented young boy, but lacks physicality so I can see it being a tough debut for him.

I can’t see us getting anything out of this. It’ll be a routine win.

Prediction: Cardiff City 2-0 Sunderland

Cardiff City v Hull City - Sky Bet Championship
Sol Bamba has been a rock for Cardiff this season
Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Paddy - @PaddyHollis123

This could be a very good time to play Cardiff. They are still pretty high up in the table but we’ll be heading to Wales with them having lost their last four league games.

That stat could be the kiss of death for Sunderland, however. The Bluebirds will be keen to bounce back and complete the double over us, and our squad will be much thinner than the one which lost 2-1 to Cardiff in September.

There has been some more positive news on the injury front, and we will be bolstered at the back with the signing of Jake Clarke-Salter. However, I feel that the hosts might be just too strong for us and it will be hard to see us getting anything out of the match.

Prediction: Cardiff City 2-0 Sunderland