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Starting XI: Is this the Sunderland side that will take on Fleetwood in the Papa John's Trophy?

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Who do you reckon will make Phil Parkinson’s starting eleven when Sunderland take on Fleetwood Town at the other Highbury tonight?

Sunderland v Mansfield Town: Emirates FA Cup First Round Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

GK: Remi Matthews

Remi Matthews is yet to keep a clean sheet since signing in the summer, and he looks a long way off pushing Lee Burge for the starting shirt.

That being said, he's Phil Parkinson's cup goalkeeper, and is sure to start in tonight's dead rubber game.


CB: Taylor CB: Willis CB: Sanderson RWB: Diamond LWB: McFadzean

Tom Flanagan was the only member of Sunderland's first choice back three to start on Saturday afternoon, and I'm expecting to see another heavily-rotated defensive line. Dion Sanderson is likely to start once again, and both Brandon Taylor and Jordan Willis would benefit from a run out in what is likely to be a low intensity game.

At right wing back, Jack Diamond will surely be given more time to familiarise himself with the role which suits him best in Phil Parkinson's system.

On the left, Callum McFadzean was one of few players to emerge from Saturday afternoon with any credit, and he will be looking to build fitness and put some pressure on Denver Hume's starting spot.

Sunderland v Mansfield Town: Emirates FA Cup First Round Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

CM: Power CM: Dobson

Max Power and George Dobson looked out of practice to say the least on Saturday, and they proved exactly why Phil Parkinson completely changed his midfield formula over the summer.

When these two played well before the end of last season, they provided a springboard for the rest of the team; not offering much of a creative spark but winning the ball back and helping Sunderland to keep the ball.

On Saturday, Max Power looked for the Hollywood pass too often, while George Dobson's passing was loose. These two are likely to be Sunderland's most experienced players tonight, so they'll need to step things up this week.


AM: Embleton

After Phil Parkinson overlooked both of Sunderland's young attacking midfielders to play an unmotivated Chris Maguire in the number ten role, I'm hoping that Parky will correct his mistake and play Elliot Embleton tonight.

Along with McFadzean, Embleton is one of the few players who can't be disgusted with his performance in the FA Cup and, with Maguire struggling to reach last season's performance levels, the academy product has an opportunity to make it into the starting eleven.

The former Grimsby loanee is still coming back from injury, and if he doesn't start I'd like to see Dan Neil play an hour, with Embleton coming off for a decent amount of time in the second half


ST: Grigg ST: O'Brien

Phil Parkinson played a genuine front two on Saturday with Danny Graham and Will Grigg starting up top in the defeat against Mansfield.

While Graham looked the most likely to score, he missed another two good chances to go along with his poor finishing against a Charlton in the league a few weeks ago.

Will Grigg was quiet at the weekend, but I think he works better as the focal point of the team, and with Aiden O'Brien playing alongside or just behind him, this is more likely to come to pass.

Charlie Wyke is currently on a hot streak if form, but these cup games offer Grigg and Graham an opportunity to make sure they are the ones who come in if the former Carlisle striker's performances dip.

Sunderland v Mansfield Town: Emirates FA Cup First Round Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images