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Roker Report’s Score Predictions: Charlton Athletic v Sunderland

Can Sunderland make it three wins in four?! Will Parky’s side keep another clean sheet?!

Charlton Athletic v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Play-off Final Photo by Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images

Our table is now beginning to sort those who have a crystal ball and those who, well... don’t - as Jack takes three points with a correct score against Peterborough last week. We also saw Matthew, Malcolm and Martin pick up a solitary point as they predicted a home win. Which leaves our pessimistic souls Will and Philip who thought the clash between two promotion rivals would end in a score draw.

In our current table we now have a five point gap between top and bottom and I’m sure Phil will be desperate to lift himself off the foot of the table. This week Sunderland travel to the capital to face a much changed Charlton Athletic side to the one that departed League One for the Championship after our Wembley encounter so will our panel back Sunderland to go four undefeated? Let’s find out in this week’s predictions...


Philip Butler predicts...

Scoreline: Charlton Athletic 0 - 1 Sunderland

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Lynden Gooch

Sunderland are yet to be involved in a game with over 2.5 goals this season and since I fancy the Lads to win this weekend, that leaves me with either 1-0 or 2-0 to Phil Parkinson’s side. So, I’ve gone for 1-0 in a repeat of last week’s win against Peterborough United.

For Sunderland’s first goalscorer, Chris Maguire went off injured last week, and Sunderland’s strikers struggled to get into the game, so I’m backing Lynden Gooch to net his second goal of the season as he looks to cement his place as a regular starter this season.

Sunderland v Bristol Rovers - Sky Bet League One
Chris Maguire
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

Malcolm Dugdale predicts...

Scoreline: Charlton Athletic 0 - 2 Sunderland

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Danny Graham

I’m backing the Lads to keep a clean sheet again this week, accepting that keeping one last time out at home against Peterborough was very hard earned, if not fortuitous in places. At the other end of the pitch, two goals is now the maximum I expect from a Parky side in a single game this season based on the evidence presented so far.

With another early game against potential promotion candidates, although one that happens to be a little wounded right now, provides Phil Parkinson’s side an opportunity to be on the front foot from the first whistle. It would be refreshing to see Sunderland take that approach and should calm those fans who feel improved performances are required to continue a good run of form (which I don’t completely disagree with).

I expect the Burge to continue between the sticks behind the same back three with O’Nien and Hume to keep their place on either flank. With George Dobson still in the stands watching due to suspension, it is a toss up between Max Power and Josh Scowen who partners the club captain Grant Leadbitter in midfield. Surprisingly, I think Grant has currently locked his name on the team sheet with his recent displays, while neither of the others have grabbed their chance so far.

After a poor showing from Charlie Wyke last week, I predict that Parky will look to Danny Graham to play the lone role up top at The Valley, where he will be supported by Maguire and O’Brien or Gooch. The latter didn’t really build on his brilliant cameo at Oxford, so he may again revert to impact sub.

If I’m honest, I’d really like to be wrong and Parkinson pulls a rabbit out of the hat by reprising the combination of Dan Neil with Will Grigg, especially after the great news of Neil’s new contract this week. Unfortunately, we know by now that Parky is a creature of habit, so we may have to wait for the EFL Trophy games before seeing that combination in action again.

If we manage to make three wins in four games in League One in the capital this week, Sunderland would be overachieving based on pre-season expectation. Although another scruffy encounter against Charlton will feed the “performance” naysayers for yet another week.

Oxford United v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Danny Graham
Photo by Leila Coker/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Matthew Foster predicts...

Scoreline: Charlton Athletic 0 - 2 Sunderland

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Lynden Gooch

Three games, seven points, two clean sheets and two strong promotion contenders beaten. Those stats are not to be sniffed at in the grand scheme of things.

Yes, our performances – particularly on Saturday – have not been mesmerising by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s comforting to be solid at the back and able to nab a goal to win it.

It’s a strange feeling to have confidence in our defence, a feeling I’ve not felt since the heady days of Big Sam.

The opposition the weekend comes in the form of our play-off final foes, Charlton. They’ve had a poor start to the campaign with two straight defeats after a win on the opening day, and a lot will rest on Connor Washington replacing Lyle Taylor’s goals if they want to do well this season.

But, whilst my glass remains half full, I’m backing another a win and clean sheet, with Gooch bagging the opener.

Oxford United v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Lynden Gooch
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Jack Howe-Gingell predicts...

Scoreline: Charlton Athletic 1 - 2 Sunderland

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Aiden O’Brien

An interesting fixture following a great win for us last time out against Peterborough in a game where we were tested to the full by some of the best attacking players in this division.

Charlton could pose a similar threat with their forward line including the likes of McAuley Bonne, Conor Washington, Chuks Aneke and Erhun Oztumer, all of which have chipped in with an odd goal in Charlton’s last six games.

On the flipside, they have conceded in all but one of their games so far providing evidence their defence isn’t quite as solid as when they last played at this level. Losing their last two, albeit against two form sides, will only add to their list of worries.

Sunderland, on the other hand, have been rock solid at the back, only conceding one goal in our first four games but we’ve found goals hard to come by. I’m hopeful that we can pull it together in the final third to convert chance into goals.

I have a slight suspicion that Charlton will be good value for at least one goal considering the attacking talent at their disposal, but expect us to become clinical and grab a couple to win the game. It’s also time that Aiden O’Brien actually put a clear cut chance away as well, so get it done lad!

Sunderland v Peterborough United - Sky Bet League One
Aiden O’Brien
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Will Jones predicts...

Scoreline: Charlton Athletic 0 - 1 Sunderland

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Max Power

Another week, another wrong prediction - I obviously need to believe in this team more.

I’ve backed the clean sheet based on the previous games and if unchanged I’m hoping that we can stay as resilient as ever. Another goalless first half is on the cards, a dull affair with Parky feeling out a probably whole new Charlton side.

Not exactly sure how Charlton will line up or how many new players they will have by then either, so I really can’t say much on their part. However, with Max Power back in the side and Leadbitter in form, we should be able to run the midfield battle.

One other change will be the striker with zero goals from the opening three games between them. I want to say “give Grigg a go” but it is obvious Parky wants a headless chicken up top. Let’s just not expect much from strikers this season.

Maguire will be a doubt, and will no doubt be given as much time as possible to make the squad. I’m going for another 1-0, another dragged out victory and another clean sheet. We will learn nothing new except we are well on our way to the magical #100points.

Oxford United v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Max Power
Photo by Leila Coker/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Martin Wanless predicts...

Scoreline: Charlton Athletic 1 - 1 Sunderland

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Danny Graham

After Saturday’s less than convincing victory over Peterborough, we take on another of the favourites for promotion, Charlton Athletic. Having been recently taken over and enabled to make new signings, Charlton will be in a buoyant mood and this could well be a game that no fans in the ground will be a benefit.

It’ll be interesting to see what Parkinson does upfront. His team selection policy is usually one of little change, but the exception to that has been in the forward line, with Grigg, Graham and Wyke all being given a start so far. While none of trio have impressed so far, Wyke turned in the poorest striking performance so far, and it’d be a surprise to see him start on Saturday.

I’m going for his replacement Danny Graham to bag an equaliser in the second half and for us to emerge from The Valley with a point.

If we do, we’ll be on eight points from four games – and will have navigated a particularly tricky opening set of fixtures in strong fashion. 1-1.