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Roker Report Score Predictions: Doncaster Rovers v Sunderland

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With Phil Parkinson looking to avoid four straight defeats this weekend at Doncaster Rovers, how will our panel predict it will go? Let us know if you agree!

Doncaster Rovers v Wolverhampton Wanderers U21 - EFL Trophy Photo by Sam Bagnall - AMA/Getty Images

Due to our panels faith in Sunderland to beat a struggling side at home, nobody picked up points last time out. So our table remains tight where Will at the bottom could potentially replace Jack at the top with maximum points this weekend.

As Sunderland travel to South Yorkshire in the hope of avoiding four defeats in a row in all competitions, will our panel keep the faith and back Sunderland for victory again this week?

Let’s find out what our panel go for in this round of predictions...


Philip Butler predicts...

Score Prediction: Doncaster Rovers 3 - 2 Sunderland

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Charlie Wyke

Sunderland are on a poor run of form, and although Doncaster away started the revival under Phil Parkinson last season I can see it being another nail in our manager’s coffin this year.

I have no confidence in the defence, something which Parky’s teams always rely on and on that basis we may see a pretty high scoring game, akin to that against Bolton when Simon Grayson left the club.

Dark clouds are hanging over Sunderland at the minute, and they need to break before the sunshine if a new takeover can warm the spirits of the red and white army.

Sunderland v Milton Keynes Dons - Sky Bet League One
Charlie Wyke
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

Malcolm Dugdale predicts...

Score Prediction: Doncaster Rovers 0 - 1 Sunderland

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Chris Maguire

This prediction is half a real prediction and half a hope that our season isn’t over by Christmas - if the manager doesn’t turn our fortunes around soon, that could well be the case.

I doubt changes will be huge because that is Phil’s way. I get the impression a player has to totally mess up at least several times for them to leave his list of trustworthy players, and to be replaced by someone less trusted. The first eleven aren’t picked on ability or best suit to the formation he feels will do well. They are just his safe bet, and sadly the bets are starting to be pretty long odds.

His repeated assignment of players out of position when options exist on the bench (Sanderson v O’Nien) or in the squad (Embleton v Power) never ceases to amaze me. Maybe one day soon he will say sod it, what have we got to lose from this dross football and try the youth and pace we have at least once. Probably not.

Being glass half full I hope for a back three that is a natural back three (Wright, Sanderson plus one). I also hope for a midfield with some spark (Embleton and Diamond, plus Neil on the bench) and I really hope that someone gets back on the scoring bus, even if it is Maguire or Wyke.

Confidence feels at a low, and there is only one way to sort that, and that’s with a win. Doncaster have had mixed results recently (e.g. beating Ipswich and Lincoln, but losing to Crewe), but we already know previous form is just a reason for us to get beat based on Mansfield and MK Dons.

Sunderland v Milton Keynes Dons - Sky Bet League One - Stadium of Light
Chris Maguire
Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

Matthew Foster predicts...

Score Prediction: Doncaster Rovers 2 - 0 Sunderland

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: No goalscorer

I’m finding it increasingly difficult to predict how things will unfold on matchday, but one thing consistent so far this season is our largely underwhelming performances. It’s easy to shrug that off when results go our way, but you can’t be reliant on luck week in week out, especially against bottom-half sides that we should be beating comfortably.

MK Dons was a prime example of that. Rather fortunately, we’re still within touching distance of the top two, but that is down to how poor the league seems this year. We’re certainly not pulling up trees, and the concept of promotion is something Sunderland seem incapable of achieving under Parkinson (ergo I’m in the “Parkinson out” camp).

I don’t hold much hope against Doncaster to be perfectly honest; a side that have beaten all four of the current top six they’ve played so far. Whilst they sit eleventh in the table, they are four points off the play-offs with a game in hand.

Whilst my glass is half-empty this week, following our three-game run of defeats, I’d be more than happy to prop up the predictions table, if it meant Sunderland could pull a win out the bag.

Sunderland v Milton Keynes Dons - Sky Bet League One - Stadium of Light
Phil Parkinson
Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

Jack Howe-Gingell predicts...

Score Prediction: Doncaster Rovers 1 - 2 Sunderland

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Charlie Wyke

After a decent start, Doncaster have faded a little sitting in 11th in the table. Disappointing defeats to Crewe and Plymouth have been balanced with wins over Ipswich and Portsmouth - it will be interesting which Doncaster turns up.

They have a some good players and I’d expect Madger Gomes, Fejiri Okenabirhe, Ben Whiteman and the evergreen James Coppinger, to be a threat.

We are the other hand look bereft of ideas and confidence following three defeats on the spin. You have to wonder where the goals are actually going to come from, with the likes of Will Grigg doing their best to make scoring look like a dying art.

That said, I’ll go for us to win as all signs are pointing the other way. A red card and a penalty, anyone?

Sunderland v Milton Keynes Dons - Sky Bet League One - Stadium of Light
Will Grigg
Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

Will Jones predicts...

Score Prediction: Doncaster Rovers 1 - 1 Sunderland

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Bailey Wright

After going against my better judgement last week and going for a lads win, I just can’t see it happening right now. We don’t look confident, energetic and have no cutting edge whatsoever, instead we look beaten and lethargic from the get go and only started playing against MK after the hour mark.

We are going up against a youthful and exuberant Donny side who have taken apart teams at the top this season. They gave Ipswich their first loss and bested Pompey within a week.

They are ruthless, and a dark horse this year.

Parky looks done. He knows he’s on his last legs and when it comes to fight or flight, we all know his choice. He rejoices in results that we wouldn’t take in a million years and doesn’t seem to know how to say “we should have done better” to put it nicely. I don’t see our players running through a wall for him, I hardly see them step on to the pitch.

I don’t have much to say on this game, I just don’t see us winning. Sorry guys.

Sunderland v Milton Keynes Dons - Sky Bet League One - Stadium of Light
Bailey Wright
Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

Martin Wanless predicts...

Score Prediction: Doncaster Rovers 0 - 2 Sunderland

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Chris Maguire

I’m really intrigued by this game, and I haven’t got a clue how it’s going to go. On this week’s preview pod I predicted a 2-0 win to us, purely because the other lads all said 1-1, so for the sake of consistency – and a gambler’s instinct to make some ground up in the predictions table – I’ve kept the faith here.

But genuinely, who knows? It’s a game that’s really going to tell us a lot about this season. Win and we’re looking up, lose and we’re wallowing. We need a result after the past few weeks – Parkinson certainly does.

Sunderland v Milton Keynes Dons - Sky Bet League One - Stadium of Light
Chris Maguire
Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

I expect a re-jigged backline to be more of a five than a three, and the big selection dilemma he has is does he give Grigg another go? If he does, Grigg’s fortunate, but dropping him – to my mind at least – effectively ends his SAFC career.

The attitude of the team this season can’t be faulted, however. We’re probably better set up to play away from home than at home – although with no crowds I’m not sure that matters too much – and for that reason, and 100% more in hope than expectation, I’m predicting us to win, 2-0. Ha’way the lads.