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Three to Watch: The trio of Shrewsbury players that Sunderland need to watch out for today

Standing in Sunderland’s way today are a Shrewsbury side who are defensively sound and have a proven scorer up top - here are the THREE Shrews players we think are going to give the Lads a tough time this afternoon.

Shrewsbury Town v Fleetwood Town - Sky Bet League One Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

Jason Cummings

Affectionately known as ‘Cumdog’ from his Hibernian days, Jason Cummings is a player that has had more clubs than haircuts in the past few seasons, but is up there with the best in the division on his day.

A star for boyhood club Hibernian, he left for Nottingham Forest in 2017 after scoring 55 goals in 114 games, but struggled to replicate his form in the Midlands and made a controversial loan move to Rangers after only six months.

After a modest goal return at Ibrox, Cummings struggled to find a permanent home and spent time at both Luton Town and Peterborough United last season, with Nottingham Forest struggling to offload a striker evidently no longer wanted.

A permanent departure from the City Ground seems to have reinvigorated the Scottish striker, however, and it seems he may have found his feet at Sam Rickett’s Shrewsbury Town. Aggressive, fast and a total nuisance on his day, Cummings will be a man to watch if he’s in the mood.

Max O’Leary

The loanee is having a fine start to the season at New Meadow after joining from Bristol City in the summer, and with Shrewsbury’s chronic lack of goals - they are second-lowest behind Bolton - he’s become an essential part of their squad.

After spending the early part of his career on loan at non-league clubs Kidderminster Harriers and Solihull Moors, O’Leary made ten starts for his parent club last term in the absence of Niki Mäenpää which seems to have aided his experience hugely as he continues his development in Shropshire.

With six clean sheets already this season, Sunderland will have to find their shooting boots as they did on Tuesday if they are to broach the Salop defence this weekend.

Aaron Pierre

After Sam Ricketts’ side won a tug-of-war for his signature in the summer, centre back Aaron Pierre has become a fan favourite at New Meadow after a supremely good start to his League One season.

Signed from Northampton Town, he had cleared the board in their player of the year awards and was linked with several third-tier clubs as well as the Championship before he signed a three-year-deal with Shrewsbury in June.

A left-sided centre back, he’s a powerful and strong and can deal with things that are played direct, whereas he can also play the ball. He’s comfortable playing on the deck and is the player Ricketts’ looks to get the ball moving, but his sheer brute strength means he’s also a difficult player to out muscle when things get physical.

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