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Roker Report Score Predictions: Sunderland v Crewe Alexandra

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Can Sunderland go six unbeaten and score a hat full of goals while we’re at it?! Let’s find out what our panel predict and let us know what you think!

Swindon Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

A big weekend for our League leader Jack as he doubles the lead at the top to four points after correctly predicting a 2-0 victory for The Lads at Swindon Town. It was also a big weekend at the bottom of the table as Phil lifted himself off the bottom by also correctly predicting the final score at the County Ground.

The remaining four members of our panel all picked up a point for predicting a Sunderland win, although amazingly, nobody went for Charlie Wyke to grab our first goal to collect the bonus point. Will our panel go for Charlie this week?! Let’s find out in this round of predictions...


Philip Butler predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 1 - 0 Crewe Alexandra

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Chris Maguire

Sunderland have looked a polished and well-drilled side this season, what they lack in attacking flair they make up for in defensive organisation.

I’ve already decided I’ll be backing any team that includes Bailey Wright at the heart of defence for a clean sheet, and with two goals in the last game I can see a single goal victory this time around for Parky’s men.

Chris Maguire played as a second striker on Saturday, and if he continues to play that high up the pitch he’s sure to bag a number of goals this season.

Swindon Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Chris Maguire scores Sunderland’s second from the spot at Swindon Town but will he score first for Sunderland this week?
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

Malcolm Dugdale predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 1 - 0 Crewe Alexandra

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Danny Graham

After a solid but unspectacular away victory at Swindon, I’m expecting Phil to rotate the squad and bring Danny Graham in. I’m hoping Graham sees the challenge for starting berths and grabs it with both hands.

We will not go up without multiple scoring strikers, so Grigg, Graham and O’Brien need to step up to follow in Charlie Wyke’s footsteps, a statement I really didn’t expect to be saying this season. It would also be good to see Benji Kimpioka at least on the bench – the reports of his performances for the U23’s suggest that may be warranted.

Hopefully we will have Denver Hume back as we missed his pace and creativity on the left, and we will have both Flanagan and Sanderson available as well to give Parkinson a nice selection problem.

It could well be a last-minute decision regarding Jordan Willis and his fitness after going off injured at Swindon Town, although the replacements were solid with the help from our Aussie ace at the centre of our back three.

I’d like to see variation in midfield too, more of Diamond and maybe Neil. We may also rest Leadbitter as there are games on the horizon in which we will rely on him more than we might on Tuesday.

I’m going for a win by a single goal, as Crewe haven’t shipped as many as others. I think it will be another hard earned victory as opposed to blowing away the opposition with intricate attacking prowess.

As long as we get three points I’m starting to care less week by week. Results are the order of the day for the manager and that is all that counts... for now.

Charlton Athletic v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Danny Graham
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

Matthew Foster predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 2 - 1 Crewe Alexandra

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Danny Graham

I think it’s hard to have any harsh criticisms after Saturday, barring perhaps Parkinson’s unwillingness to use more subs with a quick turnaround in games.

Nevertheless, it was a 2-0 win where we were barely out of first gear, and yet another clean sheet with a makeshift defence. Oh, and Charlie Wyke scored!

Given that we had an already depleted backline, it was concerning to see Willis forced off early on with what I hope is not a serious injury.

It’s another one of the new boys up next, with Crewe making the journey north with a familiar face in their squad. Former Sunderland striker Mikael Mandron has had a decent start for his new side, with five goals in seven games in all competitions.

He scored twice against us for Gillingham last season, and I have no doubt he’ll grab another one tonight.

I’m in two minds about what will happen against Crewe, but my gut says we’ll continue our unbeaten run with Danny Graham notching first for the lads.

Charlton Athletic v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Will Danny Graham have better luck in front of goal against Crewe at the Stadium of Light?
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

Jack Howe-Gingell predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 2 - 0 Crewe Alexandra

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Chris Maguire

It feels like a very similar situation as our previous game against Swindon, in the sense that we have to be winning these sorts of games comfortably to go up automatically.

It will be a different sort of game with Crewe appearing to be more solid than Swindon, conceding only four goals so far in the League, though their form has been pretty mixed.

Our old adversary Mikael Mandron has chipped in with three goals in the league, plus two in the ‘whatever they’re calling it this season’ trophy. He will be a threat in the air, with him statistically being one of the best aerially last season. Ironically, he would have been a good signing for us with our style of play, and was available for nothing.

Ultimately though, I’d expect us to take control and be very difficult to break down. Our makeshift back line performed admirably against Swindon and the availability of Tom Flanagan and Dion Sanderson can only boost that.

We showed a ruthlessness last time out and it was good to see Charlie Wyke among the goals. The key factor was the return of Chris Maguire, providing some quality and guile to our front line hence my backing of him opening our scoring.

Another solid win beckons, though I’m not expecting anything astronomical from the score line. We are the tightest defence in the whole of the football league, and long may it continue.

Swindon Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

Will Jones predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 3 - 1 Crewe Alexandra

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Chris Maguire

After not seeing any substitutions from Parky until the closing minutes, after the forced change of Jordan Willis, I am not sure what his thoughts are going into this game with us already pretty light at the back. If Hume is ready to return and Willis is fit I don’t think we will concede, however the uncertainty has led me to believe we’ll register a similar result to Saturday. A game we should run, pounce on the mistakes of a young, newly-promoted team, and shithouse our way to a victory.

Our team seem more streetwise this year, playing the game and not just hoping that Premier League wages means wins in this division.

We haven’t seen a game where we have taken all of our chances nor scored more than two in the league, but this is the game I think we can put away what we have and show what we are made of.

I’m really excited by the way the team is working and is able to see out every game. With Flanagan back, Willis a doubt and Hume maybe back, we could see our normal first XI out but if not, we do have strength in depth as we showed at Swindon and new boy Dion Sanderson could get involved.

Grant Leadbitter may be rested, so we could possibly see a recall for Dobson. This would be a shame as we would lose the influence Leadbitter has had in front of the back three controlling the tempo of our play and Dobson hasn’t looked as composed with the ball at his feet so far this year.

We have some momentum now, and I’m hoping we have the drive to keep that up!

HAWAY THE LADS!

Sunderland v Carlisle United: EFL Trophy
Chris Maguire scores against Carlisle United in the EFL Trophy at the Stadium of Light
Photo by Robert Smith/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Martin Wanless predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 4-0 Crewe Alexandra

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Charlie Wyke

Saturday’s result – and our ability to maintain that defensive solidarity despite playing the majority of the game with only two of our back five playing (and only one of them in their regular position) – should give everyone a bit of reassurance. Added to that the fact we strolled to a win without even getting out of first gear, and there’s plenty to be positive about.

Against Crewe – another newly promoted team – we need to capitalise on our good start to the season; and I’m hoping that we’re going to do it in style.

Whether Denver Hume and Jordan Willis will be fit remains to be seen; Gooch and McLaughlin deputised well on Saturday and hopefully they’ll do so again. Flanagan, of course, is free from suspension and should resume his role on the left of the defence.

I may be in a minority, but I’m beginning to enjoy watching Parkinson’s Sunderland. The ‘Parky Ball’ comments are lazy and tiresome; the football we play is, in spells, pretty good (check out any of the passing maps from recent games if you still think we’re playing long ball football) and it’s been years since we’ve seen a team as well set up and structured as we are watching now.

Yes, it’s pragmatic, and yes, it’s still a work in progress – particularly in the final third – but the signs are there that we’re building a very good League One team.

So, for that reason I’m going for a convincing win that will really set us up for a charge to the top of the table. 4-0, and another confidence booster heading into Saturday’s clash with Portsmouth.

Sunderland v Carlisle United: EFL Trophy
Denver Hume
Photo by Robert Smith/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images