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STARTING XI: Is this the team that Sunderland will field tonight v promotion rivals Rotherham?

Is this the Sunderland team that will start tonight at the Stadium of Light? Could Max Power or Charlie Wyke return to the starting eleven despite Saturday’s win?

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

GK: Jon McLaughlin

The Scottish stopper was at fault for Accrington’s opening goal on Saturday and his shaky start to the season is quickly becoming a cause for concern.

Having said that, changing goalkeeper this early in the season would be a surprise and, unfortunately for Lee Burge, big Jon will likely be given a few more matches to sort his form out.

It’s a decision you can’t argue with too much when you couple his undoubted ability as a goalkeeper with last season’s exploits, but he’ll need to pick up a clean sheet soon or he could find himself out of the team.

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

RB: O’Nien CB: Willis CB: Ozturk LB: Hume

Although Luke O’Nien was quiet on Saturday, it feels like Jack Ross has accepted he’s still the best option at right back, despite the summer signing of Conor McLaughlin. We expect he’ll continue in the defensive role he has filled since last December.

On the left hand side, Ross will continue to keep faith with academy graduate Denver Hume, whose form has steadily improved since a poor opening two games. His assist for Lynden Gooch’s superb opener was superb and he’ll be hoping to continue to show improvement.

The two centre backs pick themselves.

The pace and guile of Jordan Willis appears to compliment Alim Ozturk’s brute force and no-nonsense approach perfectly, and it’ll take a drastic change in fortunes for Ross to switch it up.

Burnley v Sunderland - Carabao Cup Second Round Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

CM: Leadbitter CM: Dobson

There can be no denying that Sunderland have produced the big results when the captain, Grant Leadbitter, has been in the starting eleven. He’s suited to big home games under the lights and will be pivotal tonight as we look to win our seventh game in eight.

Alongside him, there’s a chance that Max Power will return to the starting eleven after missing out at the Wham, but we think Jack Ross will give George Dobson another opportunity to nail down a first team spot tonight.

Dobson’s ability to get up and down the pitch will be in the manager’s thinking, and his energy could be a massive benefit to Sunderland as we face our second game in four days.

Sunderland v Oxford United - Sky Bet League One Photo by Iam Burn/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

RW: Gooch CAM: Maguire LW: McGeady

The form this trio are showing means there’s categorically no chance of them missing out for the Lads at the Stadium of Light this evening.

Aiden McGeady and Chris Maguire are Sunderland’s match-winners, and another goal and assist for the duo on Saturday just continues to highlight their importance to our promotion push. As for Lynden Gooch, he is beginning to gradually rediscover the form he showed at the beginning of last season.

His sublime goal took all the headlines at the weekend - it would be worth noting he was many people’s man of the match on Saturday afternoon and gave the Accrington defence a torrid time.

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

ST: Marc McNulty

The on-loan striker was underwhelming in his return game at Peterborough, but tapped home his first league goal of the season against John Coleman’s Accrington at the weekend and lead the line well in the absence of Charlie Wyke.

Truth is, the choice of who to play in the lone striker role is a bit of a welcome dilemma for Jack Ross, as Wyke returns from suspension.

McNulty appeared to be in possession of the shirt after starting the season well but, following his injury against Portsmouth, big Charlie took full advantage of the situation and was one of our best players in the wins over Wimbledon and Rochdale,

So with both of them available - who does the manager choose? It’s a tough decision, but we expect Marc McNulty to get the nod, especially after hitting the target in our weekend win.

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

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