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SEVEN CHANGES! Is this the Sunderland starting XI that Parky will pick for tonight’s cup game?

With rotation expected in Sunderland’s side for tonight’s EFL Trophy group game against Leicester City under-21s, will this be our starting XI? Graham is predicting SEVEN changes to the side that won on Saturday...

Sunderland v Southend United - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

GK: Jon McLaughlin

Lee Burge is still a few weeks away from full fitness, and with current back up Anthony Patterson yet to make his first team bow, we’ll surely see our Scottish number one continue in goal tonight against Leicester’s U21s.

Jon McLaughlin has looked a lot more assured since returning to the first team, picking up his first clean sheet of the season at the weekend, and Phil Parkinson is likely to use tonight’s game as an opportunity to continue his confidence re-build.

Belenenses v Sunderland: Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

RB: McLaughlin CB: Flanagan CB: Ozturk LB: De Bock

In the centre of defence, Joel Lynch and Jordan Willis are surely due a rest, especially with fringe players Tom Flanagan and Alim Ozturk desperate for minutes under their belt.

Brandon Taylor started our last Trophy tie at home to Grimsby, so he could be given minutes too, whilst Jack Bainbridge may stand an outside chance of a start.

On the left hand side, Laurens De Bock will surely start to afford Denver Hume a rest as we approach bigger games on the horizon.

Oxford United v Sunderland AFC - Carabao Cup Round of 16 Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images

CM: Mumba CM: McGeouch

Bali Mumba was taken off at half-time during the under-23’s 4-0 defeat to Reading, so we can only assume that decision was taken with tonight’s match in mind.

Mumba has played his football almost exclusively at right-back recently, but he did start in midfield against Reading, which may indicate that the club are aiming to move the teenager back to his more natural position. Alongside him, Dylan McGeouch should start as the only first teamer midfielder yet to play any football under the new boss.

West Bromwich Albion v Sunderland - Premier League 2 Photo by Morgan Harlow/Getty Images

RM: Maguire CAM: O’Nien LM: Kimpioka

Lynden Gooch is still out injured and we highly doubt Parky will risk Duncan Watmore in this fixture, so Chris Maguire is likely to continue in the wide role he occupied at the weekend.

On the opposite flank we’d expect Benji Kimpioka to be given an opportunity to impress from the start, given his sporadic recent appearances in League One.

In between the pair will be Luke O’Nien, who will be on a high having netted two goals in the last two home games. Youngster Daniel Neil will be pushing for a start too, but will have to be content with a place on the bench.

Sunderland v Tranmere Rovers - Sky Bet Leauge One Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

CF: Mark McNulty

The Scottish striker will be given a further opportunity to impress in the cup after scoring in last week’s League Cup defeat at Oxford United.

With Will Grigg starting Saturday’s win over Southend, Parkinson is likely to start with McNulty this evening in the hope another goal from the Scottish international can ignite some healthy competition up front. There’ll be competition from youngsters Lee Connelly and Cieran Dunne, but the 27-year-old will get the nod to lead the line tonight.

Sunderland v Southend United - Sky Bet Leauge One Photo by Steven Hadlow/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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