I’ll keep this short and sweet - I only decided to write it after the club announced they were streaming the game, which they are - £5 for a match pass off SAFC.com.
Craig Chapman will be providing play-by-play coverage of all the action on the @RokerReport Twitter feed, whilst after the game Gav will be here on RokerReport.com with his player ratings, so be sure to check all of that out!
Phil Parkinson’s Sunderland side will be hoping to keep their winning momentum up with a victory over League Two Carlisle United at the Stadium of Light this afternoon (3pm) following on from Saturday’s 3-1 away win at Gateshead.
22 players featured for the Lads at the International Stadium, and with only one more game after this one before the real action starts - against Harrogate Town on Saturday - it’s likely that Parky will continue to rotate his side in a bid to give as many of the players minutes on the pitch.
Whilst everyone who plays will be hoping to prove their worth, it’s important to note that these games are perhaps of most importance to the trio of Arby Xhemajli, Will Grigg and Jack Diamond. For Xhemajli, he’s hoping to earn a contract. For Grigg, he’s hoping to prove that he’s not just an expensive flop that we should be looking to shift. And for Diamond, he’ll want to show everyone just why he’s so hyped up, and why he should be kept at the club and not loaned out again for the forthcoming season.
All in all, it’s another chance to watch the Lads and, well, I can’t complain. Ha’way - let’s hope for another victory, which will surely stand us in good stead for the forthcoming League One campaign.
Managed by former Rochdale assistant Chris Beech, the Cumbrians arrive on Wearside on the back of a victory at the weekend against recently relegated Wigan Athletic, and a midweek draw at Gateshead.
Wigan - depleted this summer following their relegation and subsequent plunge into administration - still fielded a relatively strong side and Carlisle were strong enough to see them off, so we can expect they’ll give us a good test today under poor weather conditions.
The League Two outfit begin their campaign with an EFL Cup game against Oldham a week on Saturday, so will surely be looking to ramp up their preparations with a strong performance today.
They’ve already signed ELEVEN new players, including former Lincoln keeper Paul Farman, ex-Manchester United right back George Tanner and ex-St Mirren striker Gavin Reilly, who was a former transfer target for Sunderland when Jack Ross was manager in 2018.
I’m going for a comfortable 2-0 Sunderland win - this despite me saying earlier in this preview that I feel Carlisle will be strong opposition, and will give us a good game.
On a big pitch, Sunderland’s 3-4-2-1 system should stretch the game more than Carlisle are perhaps used to, and that combined with the weather conditions will make it tough work for a side who will be expecting to see less of the ball.
Who will score? I fancy new-boy Aiden O’Brien and Jack Diamond to get off the mark.