Doncaster Rovers v Sunderland
Sky Bet League One
Kick-Off: 3.00pm - Saturday 21st November 2020
TV/Stream: Full live match coverage available via www.safc.com
Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Newcastle (not online)
Sunderland travel to South Yorkshire this weekend with the intention of avoiding a fourth straight defeat, where the saving grace for Phil Parkinson was that only one of those came in a League One fixture.
One hope for the Sunderland manager will be they keep up their impressive away form this season that has resulted in three victories and two draws in the five fixtures away from the Stadium of Light so far.
Despite winning on win in five only three points separates Sunderland and the automatic promotion places but any more slip-ups will eventually result in a widening gap that will increase pressure on an already under fire Phil Parkinson.
Darren Moore’s Doncaster Rovers side are about par if last season’s performance is anything to go by, as they currently sit 11th in League One. Last time out saw Donny draw away to AFC Wimbledon which followed a home victory against Lincoln City.
In their five home games so far they have only suffered defeat once and as they’re sitting only four points outside the paly-offs with games in hand, will be looking at this fixture as an opportunity to propel themselves into the promotion mix.
Sunderland Team News
It’s spin the wheel of selection for Phil Parkinson as we again try and decipher what his thoughts are this week. I’d expect that a tough fixture away from home will see our more natural defenders playing as, well, defenders, and the abandonment of a second out-and-out striker.
Maguire will likely come back into the side to sit deep when we’re out of possession, but it’s anyone’s guess.
Possible XI: Lee Burge, Jordan Willis, Bailey Wright, Tom Flanagan, Luke O’Nien, Grant Leadbitter, Max Power (c), Denver Hume; Lynden Gooch, Chris Maguire, Charlie Wyke
Doncaster Rovers Team News
Darren Moore has brought in a couple of interesting and exciting young players on loan to the Keepmoat Stadium this season.
Look out for Matt Smith on loan from Manchester City in midfield and Josh Sims from Southampton who will be dangerous if given the space with his turn of pace.
In terms of ex-Sunderland players, it’s likely we will see Reece James in the Doncaster line-up in a central midfield role this weekend.
Possible XI: Bursik, Halliday, Wright, Anderson, John; Whiteman, Taylor, Smith, James, Sims, Okenabirhie
Last Time We Met... at the Keepmoat Stadium
Saturday 29th December 2019: Sky Bet League One
Doncaster Rovers 1 - 2 Sunderland (Taylor 40’ - Gooch 6’, Maguire 61’)
Sunderland: J. McLaughlin, O’Nien, Willis, Ozturk, Lynch, Hume, Power, Dobson, Gooch (Watmore), Maguire, Wyke Substitutes not used: Burge, McLaughlin, De Bock, Leadbitter, McNulty, Grigg
Doncaster Rovers: Dieng, Halliday, John (Thomas), Whiteman, Anderson, Wright, Sadlier, Gomes, Ennis, Coppinger (Watters), Taylor Substitutes not used: Lawlor, James, Daniels, Sheaf, Greaves
The bookies see this as a close one, with Sunderland at 29/20 and a home victory is priced at 15/8, and 9/4 that each side will take a point.
For a correct score, a 1-1 draw is the favourite scoreline at 9/2, and a Sunderland victory by a comfortable margin such as 2-0 is 11/1 with a 3-0 at 25/1. Donny to get the only goal of the game and win 1-0 is priced at 7/1.
Last season the away fixture at Doncaster was one that kickstarted Phil Parkinson’s time as Sunderland manager after a 2-1 victory but it might be a tighter affair this time.
Sunderland have a good away record and Doncaster have a good home record - so I’m banking on the two sides to cancel each other out and end in a stalemate.
Doncaster Rovers 1 - 1 Sunderland