Sunderland v Crewe Alexandra
Sky Bet League One
Stadium of Light
Kick-Off: 7pm - Tuesday 20th October, 2020
TV/Stream: Full live match coverage available via www.safc.com
Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Newcastle (not online)
On the back of another away win at Swindon Town, Sunderland carry momentum as we aim to go six unbeaten at the beginning of this season’s League One.
Phil Parkinson’s side sit four points behind the top two with a game in hand and will need to continue this vein of form to keep up with early pace setters Ipswich Town and Hull City.
After losing their opening two League games, David Artell’s Crewe Alexandra are now unbeaten in three League games, and after finishing runners-up to Swindon Town in League Two last season, will be pleased to the start they’ve made to life in League One.
Sunderland however will be looking for a convincing victory at home and a boost to the goals scored column as they continue to keep pace at the top of League One.
Sunderland Team News
Lots of questions around the Sunderland starting line-up as we return to the Stadium of Light. All this will depend on degrees of fitness and how strong the temptation will be to rest players.
Phil Parkinson was visibly delighted with the performance and result at Swindon Town, and a number of those players may be trusted to go again as opposed to rushing the likes of Willis and Hume back too early and risking further absence.
There have also been calls to rest Grant Leadbitter but considering the other changes forced upon the Sundrland manager at the moment, this be one too many and his experience will be vital in front of Bailey Wright.
I’d expect Parkinson to keep it as consistent at the back to maintain our defensive shape, whilst also bucking a trend and doing the same at the other end of the pitch, where he may just stick with Chris Maguire supporting Charlie Wyke up top.
Possible XI: Lee Burge, Connor McLaughlin, Bailey Wright, Luke O’Nien, Lynden Gooch, Grant Leadbitter, Max Power (c), Denver Hume, Josh Scowen, Chris Maguire, Charlie Wyke
Crewe Alexandra Team News
Although David Artell wasn’t happy with the performance he was pleased with the result as he stated post-match:
It was our worst performance of the season butour best result. We didn’t do enough with the ball and made poor decisions, especially in the first half... I think it it is a point gained rather than two points lost but we took the lead and have had three clean-sheets on the bounce and have been hard to beat, so perhaps we were disappointed with the goal we conceded.
So far in the build-up to the game at the Stadium of Light there are no reports of fitness worries ahead of kick-off so it’s likely we’ll see the same Crewe XI that faced Blackpool at the Alexandra Stadium.
Expect a lot of play out wide with two attacking full-backs looking to link up with Powell and Kirk out on the flanks. Whoever gets the nod in the wing-back positions for the home side may be in for a busy ninety minutes.
Possible XI: Jääskeläinen, Ng, Beckles, Offord, Pickering, Murphy, Wintle, Ainley, Powell, Kirk, Mandron
Last Time We Met... at the Stadium of Light
Tuesday 10th August 2004: Coca-Cola Championship
Sunderland 3 - 1 Crewe Alexandra (Robinson 12’, Stewart 67’, Elliott 90’ - Rivers 43’)
Sunderland: Myhre, Wright, Breen, Caldwell, Arca, Lawrence (Thornton), Robinson, Whitley, Oster, Kyle (Clark), Stewart (Elliott) Substitutes not used: Alnwick, Williams
Crewe Alexandra: Wiliams, Tonkin (S. Jones), Walker, Foster, B. Jones, Sorvel, Lunt, Cochrane, Vaughan, Ashton, Rivers (Higdon) Substitutes not used: Ince, Lloyd, Bell
Sunderland are clear favourites to claim all three points according to the bookmakers, who have the home side at 6/10 and a Crewe victory at 5/1. If you think the game could be a tight affair, the draw is available at 3/1.
Although a Sunderland victory is fancied, the correct score odds perhaps unsurprisingly back a low scoring one, with a 1-0 victory the favorite at 5/1. On the theme of being a tight game a goalless draw is on offer at 10/1.
Danny Graham is again favourite to be first goalscorer at 10/3, as he was ahead of the Swindon game, only for him not to see any action at all. This time he is followed in the betting by Chris Maguire at 7/2 and Wyke at 4/1.
For Crewe, the bookies think Chris Porter could be the danger man at 13/2, who is followed by ex-Sunderland striker Mikael Mandron to score on his return at 17/2.
Considering Sunderland have conceded one so far this season and Crewe have conceded one in the last four games, it’s clear we have two sides who’s foundations are built on being tight at the back. For this reason I’m going for Sunderland to get the only goal of the game.
Sunderland 1 - 0 Crewe Alexandra