Swindon Town v Sunderland
Sky Bet League One
The Energy Check County Ground
Kick-Off: 3pm - Saturday 17th October, 2020
TV/Stream: Full live match coverage available via www.safc.com
Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Newcastle (not online)
Sunderland are looking to maintain an unbeaten run to the season at newly promoted Swindon Town in a game that has all of the hallmarks of a potential slip-up.
Swindon currently sit 15th in League One having won two and lost three so far this season, and as a newly promoted side would likely be content to finish the season in their current position.
Although their two victories have come at home against Rochdale and Burton Albion, last time out at the Energy Check County Ground they did come unstuck when they lost to a single goal against AFC Wimbledon.
It’s two sides who have very different aspirations this season in League One, but the motivation to take the scalp of Sunderland just may see Richie Wellens team raise their game as the Swindon boss returns to the dugout after a touchline ban.
Sunderland Team News
Phil Parkinson has a problem at the back, in the fact that he will likely need to fill a round hole with a square peg if he is to insist with three at the back with new loan signing Dion Sanderson being ineligible to play.
Will he change the system? If not, who will replace Flanagan at the back? These are the questions for Parkinson to resolve after recently losing Xhemajli and Feeney to injury. My feeling is he will bring McLaughlin into the side as that appears to be the change that will cause the least disruption to the rest of the team.
The first half at The Valley will provide hope to Phil Parkinson that if we keep creating those chances they will at some point begin to end up in the back of the net. For this reason, I’m expecting O’Brien to continue his support of Danny Graham.
It’s anyone’s guess and as ever it will be intriguing to see what Parkinson goes with.
Possible XI: Lee Burge, Connor McLaughlin, Bailey Wright, Jordan Willis, Luke O’Nien, Grant Leadbitter, Max Power (c), Denver Hume, Chris Maguire, Aiden O’Brien, Danny Graham
Swindon Town Team News
Consolidation is the order of the day for Richie Wellens this season and Swindon Town, after three seasons in League Two they have no desire to return any time soon.
The squad has a new look after a summer that saw thirteen new additions to the squad including Brett Pitman who is ruled out through injury. Pitman is in fact a whole host of injuries that the home side have to contend with, especially in attack where they are threadbare going into the clash at the Energy Check County Ground.
Look out for Matt Smith in midfield, on loan from Arsenal, and he has already hit the ground running with some impressive performances this season.
Possible XI: Kovar; Hunt, Donohue, Baudry, Grounds, A. Grant, M. Smith, J. Smith, Jaiyesimi, Payne, T. Smith
Last Time We Met... at The County Ground
Saturday 15th August 1998: Nationwide Football League Division 1
Swindon Town 1 - 1 Sunderland (Onuora, Phillips)
Sunderland: Sorensen, Gray, Melville, Butler, Scott, Summerbee (Mullin), Ball, Williams, Johnston, Quinn (Dichio), Phillips Substitutes not used: Bridges
Swindon Town: Talia, Robinson, Hall, Leitch (Cuervo), Reeves, Borrows, Walters, Ndah, Onuora, Bullock, Gooden Substitutes not used: Davis, Hay
Despite being away from home the bookmakers are still confident Phil Parkinson’s side will come out with a win this weekend as they offer 5/6 for an away victory and 16/5 for Swindon to claim the points.
In terms of scoreline, a 1-0 win for Sunderland is 11/2, closely followed by 2-0 or 2-1 in Sunderland’s favour on offer at 15/2. Interestingly the most likely result according to the bookmakers is a 1-1 draw which is available at 5/1.
Danny Graham is favourite to be first goalscorer at 7/2, closely followed by Charlie Wyke and Chris Maguire at 9/2. The dangermen for Swindon are Tyler Smith who is favourite to score first for the home side at 6/1, followed by Hallam Hope and Joel Grant at 15/2.
Richie Wellens side will be up for taking a big scalp at home as they will likely step up their game for the visit of Sunderland. Changes at the back could mean we will concede although we should have enough for the win.
Swindon Town 1 - 2 Sunderland