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Roker Report’s Score Predictions: Sunderland v Carlisle United

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After an 8-1 victory at the Stadium of Light in our last fixture in the EFL Trophy, what will our panel go with for the visit of Carlisle United?! Let us know if you agree with this week’s predictions!

Sunderland v Carlisle : Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Our panel lost out through getting far too optimistic against Charlton Athletic, everyone except Martin it appears as he was the only one to pick up any points this week. A single point through correctly predicting a draw, but unfortunately he went for a score draw rather than the 0-0 final score at The Valley.

So it’s pretty much a case of ‘as you were’ in our table and after our 8-1 scoreline from our last fixture in the EFL Trophy against Aston Villa U21s, will we see any thoughts of going with a high scoring game again? Let’s find out in this week’s predictions for the visit of Carlisle United...


Philip Butler predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 5 - 0 Carlisle United

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Will Grigg

Sunderland swatted away Aston Villa’s youngsters in their last game in this competition and I expect them to do the same to what is likely to be a heavily rotated Carlisle United side.

Eleven changes wouldn’t surprise me so Will Grigg is likely to make his first start since the opening day and I’m backing him to show our strikers from Saturday how to finish with the first goal here.

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

Malcolm Dugdale predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 4 - 0 Carlisle United

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Jack Diamond

On the back of the disappointment of dropping two points away to Charlton, I’m expecting a routine victory against The Cumbrians in the EFL Trophy.

It might have been a different story at Brunton Park, a place I saw regularly during the 90’s playing for the rugby club who lived next door, but at the Stadium of Light, I expect a similar professional performance to the one we saw that demolished Aston Villa U21s 8-1 last month.

The red card for Flanagan is likely to be irrelevant as he will be away on international duty with Northern Ireland, but the manager really needs to mix things up to stir the attacking juices of the squad to build confidence ahead of returning the League One action after the international break.

This is also a rare opportunity to experiment with selection and tactics as the weirdest transfer window in my lifetime comes to a close.

I expect to see at least half the starting team swapped out, although international duty will have an impact on who is available. Changes should include Remi Matthews coming in for Lee Burge, but also Taylor, Neil, Diamond, Grigg and maybe even Kimpioka coming into the fold.

All of the players mentioned have a point to prove and could provide answers to unlock resilient League One defences, and anyone who shines in the EFL Trophy has the potential to force their way into a regular place in Phil Parkinson’s starting XI.

Alternately, the last throw of the dice to solve our goalscoring problem may have to come in the transfer market. If things don’t improve, our solid back line won’t be enough.

Sunderland v Aston Villa U21: EFL Trophy
Jack Diamond
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Matthew Foster predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 4 - 0 Carlisle United

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Jack Diamond

After a steady but more importantly unbeaten start to the league, The EFL Trophy presents Sunderland a chance to completely change things up and give some of the fringe players a run out, and perhaps a chance to impress the ‘beautiful and very cheeky’ Parkinson.

I fully expect us to make wholesale changes, with the likes of Diamond and hopefully Neil given a game, and would like to see Grigg up top to see if he can recapture his pre-season form.

I’ve mentioned how I feel about this competition before, and quite frankly I’d just be happy to see a Sunderland win and continue our unbeaten run.

We beat Carlisle 3-1 in pre-season, so let’s go one better and get four and a clean sheet.

Sunderland v Carlisle : Pre-Season Friendly
Aiden O’Brien in action against Carlisle United during pre-season
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Jack Howe-Gingell predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 3 - 0 Carlisle United

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Will Grigg

Another one of these games that just don’t seem to matter, but another opportunity to rotate the squad around and maybe give some a chance to impress.

Carlisle have been pretty average of so far this season, only winning two of their first five league games and losing the rest. That said, I’d expect them to give us a better game than Villa’s young lads.

Hopefully we will see the likes of Neil and Diamond, and they will really show what the first team are missing. A bit of dynamic play and real energy.

Ultimately, this should be a comfortable win for the lads and I’d be surprised if we let one in barring a howler. Good chance for squad players to get some minutes, and hopefully one of our forwards will get amongst the goals and give us that boost we desperately need.

Sunderland v Aston Villa U21: EFL Trophy
Phil Parkinson will be looking for a good performance in the EFL Trophy against Carlisle United
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Will Jones predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 3 - 0 Carlisle United

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Charlie Wyke

Time to get the youngsters back in and fighting for their place.

We have no game this weekend so everyone will be wanting to play, but we need to give the youngsters a go and show what they are made of while they have a chance.

I feel it’s gonna be a slow first half but very dominant from us, but once we get that first goal the floodgates might open.

There is no reason for us to even attempt to move out of 2nd gear for most of the squad, and I’m hoping for a cool calm and collected clean sheet and a few goals. Is it too much to ask for a few goals again from our strikers... and maybe a correct score prediction for me while we’re at it?!

Sunderland v Carlisle : Pre-Season Friendly
Charlie Wyke celebrates his goal against Carlisle United during pre-season
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Martin Wanless predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 2 - 0 Carlisle United

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Will Grigg

It’s important we head into this mini-break with another positive result. It’s also important we try to figure out an attacking system that will get us some goals - after all, that’s been pretty much the only thing we can fault so far this season.

With a few players away on internationals, options at the back are limited, however I expect to see a rotated team using a number of players from our first team squad. Hopefully Neil and Diamond will play, Power and Dobson are likely to return in midfield while I’d hope Wright is rested with a lot of games coming up in a short space of time.

I’m going for a 2-0 win - Carlisle showed in pre-season they’re no push overs, with a Neil-assisted Grigg strike to open the scoring. 2-0.

Sunderland v Aston Villa U21: EFL Trophy
Will Dan Neil get another game under his belt for Sunderland against Carlisle United in the EFL Trophy?
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images