Sunderland can take another step closer to the next phase of the Leasing.com Trophy with victory over Leicester Under-21s on Tuesday night. After an opening round win against Grimsby Town, it will be another opportunity for Sunderland’s fringe players to make an impression on boss Phil Parkinson. The young Foxes have the surprise package so far in this competition, winning at Grimsby last time out.
On the approach to the Leasing.com Trophy:
We’re taking tomorrow night’s game seriously and, like I said, it’s an opportunity to look at players but I think that everytime a player pulls on a Sunderland shirt it’s a serious game. But, we’ve also got to be honest and say that in the priority list it’s not the top, but we go into every game wanting to win and we’ll see where it takes us.
On the win against Southend:
It was very important to get the three points - it was a game we dominated for large parts of it, and it’s just so important to notch another three points on the board as there’s not a great deal of league football potentially coming up in the next few weeks, so it was a good win for us.
With success in the Leasing.com Trophy low down on Sunderland’s list of priorities, Parkinson is expected to shuffle his deck. Lee Burge, Charlie Wyke and Lynden Gooch all remain sidelined so the likes of Laurens De Bock, Alim Ozturk and Dylan McGeouch are all expected to start.
The game also presents an opportunity for Sunderland’s younger players with Benji Kimpioka set to be involved. There could also be run-outs for Brandon Taylor, Lee Connelly and Cole Kiernan, who all featured in the last round.
View From The Opposition
Following the lead of the senior team, Leicester Under-21s are enjoying an excellent campaign so far. The young Foxes are on a four-game winning streak in all competitions, including a last-gasp 2-1 victory at Grimsby in their last outing in the Leasing.com Trophy.
After a patchy start to the season, they find themselves in third in Premier League 2 after an impressive 2-0 victory away at Manchester City. Much of Leicester’s success has been down to the scoring prowess of George Hirst. The England Under-20 international has already bagged five goals so far this campaign and the young side were praised for their performance at City by former Foxes defender Sean St Ledger.
St Ledger told the club’s official website:
This is a team that is playing with lots and lots of confidence. It has really good balance in the team. If you look at when [Josh] Eppiah came on, playing with Hirst, there’s signs of really good combination play. An outstanding performance from a really exciting group of players.
Venue: Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Referee: Ross Joyce
Current position: 3rd (U23s Premier League 2)
Last season position: 10th (U23s Premier League 2)
Last season EFL Trophy performance: Eliminated at group stage
Last 5 results:
(L1) Southend United (H) 1-0
(LC) Oxford United (A) 1-1 (2-4 on pens)
(L1) Shrewsbury Town (A) 0-1
(L1) Tranmere Rovers (H) 5-0
(L1) Wycombe Wanderers (A) 0-1
(PL2) Manchester City (A) 2-0
(LT) Grimsby Town (A) 2-1
(PL2) Southampton (H) 3-0
(PL2) Tottenham Hotspur (A) 2-0
(PL2) Chelsea (H) 2-2
Top goalscorers (in all competitions)
5 - George Hirst
2 - Callum Wright
2 - Admiral Muskwe
2 - Ali Reghba
1 - George Thomas
Where Can I Watch It?
Supporters lucky enough to activate their season card before October 31st can enjoy free entry on Tuesday evening. Alternatively, tickets are available on the night priced at £10 for adults and £5 for under-16s and over-65s.