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THREE players Joey Barton will unleash to try and crush Sunderland’s promotion optimism tonight

Joey Barton’s side have done reasonably well this season, and they will be keen to put a dampener on Sunderland’s play-off hopes this evening. Here’s three Fleetwood players to watch out for this evening.

AFC Wimbledon v Fleetwood Town - Sky Bet League One Photo by James Chance/Getty Images

Paddy Madden

League One Games/Goals: 42/14

The Republic of Ireland international has proven himself as a consistent goalscorer in League One over the years, and this season has been no different for Madden.

The 29-year-old joined The Fisherman last January from Scunthorpe United, where he had scored sixty goals across four and a half seasons. Madden hit the ground running, scoring six goals after the turn of the year, and his form has continued into this season under new manager Joey Barton.

At 6ft tall he’s a strong, experienced striker that has already notched once against Sunderland this season where his opener at the Stadium of Light secured Fleetwood a point back in September.

Ched Evans

League One Games/Goals: 36/17

Now into his 30’s, the Welshman has been Joey Barton’s talisman this season and has been Fleetwood’s main source of goals.

Heavily linked with Sunderland in the January transfer window, he joined the Fleetwood at the beginning of the campaign on a season-long loan from Sheffield United and hit the ground running, scoring four goals in his first four games as Joey Barton’s side made a blistering start to their League One campaign.

With 17 goals so far this term, Evans is by the far the biggest threat in the Fleetwood ranks and his experience will be a challenge for whoever plays centre half tonight.

Ashley Hunter

League One Games/Goals: 41/8

One of the most underrated players in League One this season, winger Ashley Hunter has quietly been collecting assists like marbles this term.

Joey Barton has, annoyingly, had a pretty solid start to life in League One as his Fleetwood side sit just outside of the play-off spots. In Ashley Hunter, they have someone that underpins everything good about Barton’s side this season.

At just 23-years of age, Hunter is the man Fleetwood’s future is being invested in, and although he comes in at number three on our men to watch, the two men above him would have scored far less had it not been for his play-making.

With age on his side there will no doubt be teams higher up the pyramid looking at the pacey, athletic midfielder in the summer.

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