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Roker Report Score Predictions: Sunderland v Mansfield Town

Sunderland take a break from League One action this weekend to begin our FA Cup campaign at home to Mansfield Town - will our panel back us to breeze through to round two?

Sunderland v Ipswich Town - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

Even though he didn’t move off the bottom it was a great result for Will as he gained maximum points through successfully predicting Sunderland’s 2-1 victory and, that Charlie Wyke would score the opening goal. The only other points were picked up by Jack and Martin who also backed Wyke to get the opener for Sunderland.

This means our table is looking pretty tight and Will is now within another perfect prediction away from the top. It could all turn on it’s head as well as we once again go into cup territory and picking out of a hat who Phil Parkinson might go with to get us through to the second round of the FA Cup.

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

Philip Butler predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 5 - 2 Mansfield Town

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Danny Graham

It's anyone's guess what sort of team we'll see, or even what kind of game we're going to see. I'm basing my prediction on our results in the Papa John's Trophy, where we've taken the "you score three, we'll score four" approach.

Having said that, if this was a League game I'd be predicting a 1-0/2-0 win.

Basically, I have not got a clue.

Sunderland v Ipswich Town - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

Malcolm Dugdale predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 3 - 0 Mansfield Town

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Elliot Embleton

For this weeks foray into FA Cup footy, I am taking a punt that the manager will run out a number of our promising youth players along side giving minutes to senior players who have mainly warmed the bench.

Matthews is likely to be in between the jumpers, and I’d not be surprised to see Willis (fitness permitting) and Sanderson in the defensive line, as well as our recently signed left wingback McFadzean.

In the midfield, Parkinson has a duty of care to rest some senior players which could and should allow in the likes of Neil, Diamond, Embleton and maybe Dobson. The latter needs to show what he can do rather than what he can’t for me.

Up front, I’d love to see Grigg pair back up with Neil as that looked tasty in pre-season. With Benji nursing a hammy it’s likely to be Graham or O’Brien if a second striker is used.

This is a nothing event for me, and other than losing a chance to try out other players I don’t care if we get beat. What I do want is the emergence of more options, and evidence to the kids we are interested in them as the lack of even bench time within the first team squad will be frustrating for them all. We have lost too many already, we don’t want to risk more of that in January.

Gateshead v Sunderland: Pre-Season Friendly
Will Elliot Embleton get some minutes on the pitch for Sunderland this weekend?
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Matthew Foster predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 4 - 1 Mansfield Town

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Jack Diamond

It’s fair to say that performances this season have left a lot to be desired. But the League isn’t decided on performance, it’s based on results, and we’re managing to grind them out.

We all would prefer to play badly and win, than play well and lose. It’s not the smartest method of achieving promotion, but since we sit only one point behind 2nd place Ipswich, no damage has been done.

But for now, the League is on the back burner, and all focus is set on our FA Cup clash with Mansfield Town this weekend. It’s a perfect chance to shuffle the pack and rest the regulars, and give some of the fringe players the minutes they’ve been starved of in the league.

Our opponents Mansfield are having a torrid season, having not recorded a single win in all competitions so far. The poor start cost Graham Coughlan his job as manager late last month, with caretaker manager Richard Cooper since overseeing two draws against Walsall and Bolton.

I’m hoping for a strong showing in this one, against managerless and winless Mansfield and put our names in the hat for the next round.

Swindon Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Will Jack Diamond score Sunderland’s opening goal against Mansfield Town?
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

Jack Howe-Gingell predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 3 - 0 Mansfield Town

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Danny Graham

I’m expecting a lot of changes for this one, particularly after reports of some niggles for Lynden Gooch and Luke O’Nien. We need to get some of the squad valuable game time, and it could be another chance to impress for our young players.

Mansfield have had a poor start to their League Two campaign and are yet to register a win this season, drawing seven and losing four so far. You’d think that could only point to one result but this is Sunderland after all.

Looking at their scoring stats, no one has really stood out but their squad has few notable names such as Nicky Maynard and former Newcastle player, James Perch.

Hopefully, Parkinson will refresh the side with the likes of Sanderson, Graham, Grigg, McFadzean and Dobson, all needing game time. As well as this, I’d like to see Embleton, Diamond and Neil starting to further aid their development and show what they can do. We need avoid our squad getting overly fatigued, and plenty of rotation will facilitate this.

Sadly, I doubt this game will be enough to change Parkinson’s philosophy of sticking with his senior players as opposed to taking a chance of potentially talented young lads. That said, they will be hard to ignore if they can put another good shift in on Saturday.

I’d expect Sunderland to win comfortably based upon Mansfield’s form and of course, the League difference. Naming a first goal scorer is tricky with a number of changes expected, but I’ll go for Danny Graham. He needs minutes and I fancy him to give the a tough time and finally get off the mark.

Sunderland Training Session
Jack and Will both back Danny Graham to open the scoring for Sunderland against Mansfield Town in the FA Cup first round tie
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Will Jones predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 2 - 0 Mansfield Town

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Danny Graham

Time for a rest and some fringe players to get some game time. Last time out we scraped another 3 points as the parky bus roles into the FA Cup against a team who at the time of writing do not have a manager. Whether he will use this as a game to experiment and just see what happens is a possibility and we could be rampant.

I feel that Mansfield will have some fight but won’t be able to withhold the barrage that is to come. They are not performing and we are grinding results. I feel we are gonna pepper shots at the Mansfield goalkeeper but only come out with a couple of goals. The Parky way.

I’d love to see a whole rotated side and get some minutes into the youngsters and fringe players. We have nine games in December, they are going need as much rest as possible and I believe we should just play as little of the first XI as we can. Even so I believe we can get the victory.

New Sunderland Signing Callum McFadzean
Will we see Callus McFadzean in the Sunderland starting line-up today?
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Martin Wanless predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 4 - 0 Mansfield Town

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Max Power

Our cup games this season against lower league opposition and babies have been rather high scoring, so I expect our first round FA Cup tie to follow a similar pattern.

I expect there to be changes to the starting eleven – in fact, Parkinson hinted there would be in a press conference last week – and, given Flanagan and McLaughlin will be missing for the MK Dons game a week on Saturday due to international call ups, I imagine Bailey Wright will be one of those rested against Mansfield.

The likes of Oliver Younger might get a game, Luke O’Nien may play in defence, or we may go to a flat back four.

Rochdale v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Martin is backing Max Power to score Sunderland’s opener today
Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images

Regardless of the first two suggestions, I’d like to see us experiment with a back four in this game. I’m a big fan of the three at the back system and think it suits us well, however we need variation – and that comes with the likes of Gooch (or maybe Embleton, if fit) and Diamond on the wings in a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3.

If I was in Parkinson shoes, I’d rest those players who, like Wright, have become hugely important – Leadbitter, Hume and, yes, Wyke, and give game time to Neil, Diamond, McFadzean, Grigg and Graham. Remi Matthews will likely start in goal – hopefully he’ll perform better than he has done on his outings so far this season. To be honest, I’d give Patterson a run out in nets.

After sitting out a few games recently, I expect Max Power to come into the team and I’m going for him to open the scoring in a rather one-sided game. 4-0.

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