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Starting XI: Is this the Sunderland side that will take on Wigan Athletic this afternoon?

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Who do you reckon will make the starting eleven when Sunderland look to get a much needed three points against Wigan Athletic this afternoon?

Sunderland v Burton Albion - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

GK: Matthews

Although Remi Matthews was at fault for Burton’s goal on Tuesday night, I still believe it is unlikely that a caretaker manager will start rotating goalkeepers, especially with this likely to be Andrew Taylor’s final game in charge.

When the new manager does come in, I would like to see Anthony Patterson given a chance between the posts since neither of Sunderland’s more senior stoppers are anything more than mediocre League One goalkeepers.

Sunderland v Carlisle United: EFL Trophy Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

RB: McLaughlin CB: Wright CB: Flanagan LB: Hume

With Luke O’Nien suffering what looked like a fairly painful injury to his collarbone on Tuesday night, Sunderland are certain to make a change at the back. However, with the improvement in his side’s performance after reverting to four at the back against Burton I think Taylor will make this a change of shape rather than of personnel.

This means that Conor McLaughlin will shuffle across to right back, with Bailey Wright and Tom Flanagan starting together at centre back and Denver Hume, Sunderland’s assister on Tuesday night, retaining his place at left back.


CM: Scowen CM: Leadbitter CM: Power

The shape with which Sunderland finished the game against Burton Albion was rather interesting, as there was more to it than putting all of the strikers pitch and playing a classic “get it in the mixer” 4-4-2.

Instead, the central midfield trio was unchanged throughout the game, with Will Grigg’s introduction as a second striker meaning the shape was more of a 4-3-1-2 than a flat 4-4-2.

This is a shape I think Sunderland will continue with, and since caretaker boss Taylor didn’t see the need to change his midfield in-game on Tuesday night, I can’t see him making any changes to his starting trio before kick off this afternoon.

Sunderland v Burton Albion - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

AM: Embleton

Despite not changing the formation or style of his play for his first game as a manager, Andrew Taylor did bring in Elliot Embleton for a much anticipated start in place of Chris Maguire.

Despite the academy graduate making way for Chris Maguire to play in behind Sunderland’s two strikers I think Embleton will be given the free role this afternoon, especially since none of Sunderland’s forwards have stamped their authority on the position this season.


ST: Grigg ST: Maguire

When Charlie Wyke went off injured midway through the first half on Tuesday night, Danny Graham was the natural replacement. However, for the second game in a row the former Blackburn forward put in a subpar performance and was completely outshone by Will Grigg who came off the bench.

For this reason it would be ridiculous for that performance to be rewarded with a start, so I think both Grigg and Chris Maguire will come into the side to replace the two players missing with injury - Charlie Wyke and Luke O’Nien.

Sunderland v Burton Albion - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images