GK: Lee Burge
Our win over Tranmere Rovers during the week was pleasing for many reasons, but taking our first clean sheet in League One is perhaps the most satisfying for new boss Phil Parkinson. Many fans had called for introduction of summer signing Lee Burge and it’s great to see him grasp his opportunity with both hands. He looks anything but the ‘keeper Coventry fans told us we’d signed. He’s assured, calm and has excellent distribution.
Sadly for Jon McLaughlin, it seems the number one jersey is Burge’s for the foreseeable future if he continues his impressive form.
RB: O’Nien CB: Willis CB: Lynch LB: Hume
After a spell in his favoured number ten role, Phil Parkinson moved Luke O’Nien back to right back on Tuesday and it has to be said that he was excellent both offensively and defensively. O’Nien may favour the ten role, but to alter the back four after our first clean sheet of the season would be wrong.
On the opposite flank, Denver Hume seems to be growing in confidence and produced another good performance, so will fend off competition from the returning Laurens De Bock. In the centre of defence will be Jordan Willis and Joel Lynch.
Jordan Willis has been one of our most consistent players this term, and he seems to fit perfectly alongside fellow summer signing Joel Lynch. They’ll be delighted to have picked up their first clean sheet together on Tuesday, and will be looking to form the spine that sees Sunderland go on a good run of form.
CM: Dobson CM: Power
Max Power turned in an excellent showing against his former club in midweek, with help from the energetic George Dobson in the middle of the park.
On his day Power is perhaps our best midfielder, with his ability to dictate play and dominate the centre of the park, so Parkinson will be hoping that he can remain consistent and nail down a first team slot on a permanent basis.
Alongside him former Walsall captain George Dobson should keep his place. Under Jack Ross we didn’t appear to have a first choice midfield, so with Parkinson looking for a settled team, he will be most likely keep disruption to a minimum and start the 21-year-old alongside Power at New Meadow.
RM: Watmore CAM: Maguire LM: McGeady
Phil Parkinson admitted that Duncan Watmore is "stiff and tired" after playing two games in four days, but will likely start with Tuesday night's star man on the right hand side after allowing Watmore extra rest in training.
Chris Maguire was another who performed superbly in the 5-0 win over Tranemere Rovers, and thus will continue in the number ten role.
Lynden Gooch started and scored, but Parkinson has confirmed the American is out of action this weekend after turning his ankle, so it’s likely we’ll see Aiden McGeady return from suspension to take on former defender Donald Love at New Meadow.
ST: Will Grigg
The former Wigan Athletic striker produced his best performance in a red and white shirt against Rovers and has guaranteed his place in the starting eleven.
Nabbing his first league goal of the campaign, he also laid on Duncan Watmore’s opener as we thrashed Micky Mellon’s side, so he should be brimming with confidence and will be looking to add to his tally after notching two goals in his last three games.