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Would you make any changes to the Sunderland XI ahead of the clash with Peterborough United?

After winning last weekend against Oxford United Phil Parkinson has some tough decisions to take. We ask our panel if they would make and changes ahead of the visit of Peterborough United - let us know what you think!

Oxford United v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Would you make any changes to the Sunderland XI ahead of the clash with Peterborough United?

Jack Howe-Gingell says...

I’d likely keep it unchanged other than Gooch coming in for O’Brien.

O’Brien, despite good movement, has fluffed too many chances and needs reminding that he needs to start taking them if he wants to be a regular starter. I thought Gooch was a positive influence when he came on against Bristol Rovers and, of course, provided a great individual goal at Oxford.

Other than that it’s hard to make any huge changes. There was talk of Power having a tight hamstring following Oxford, so perhaps Scowen could replace him. Leadbitter had a decent game, which was good to see. His calmness and experience could prove useful against a Peterborough side with attacking threat.

Flanagan always seems to be targeted as not being good enough but has arguably been our strongest defender throughout our first few games of the season and he’s got to stay in on merit. Perhaps the signing of Xhemajli is spurring him on?

Overall, keeping a consistent side with perhaps the inclusion of Gooch would give us a good platform to start from, in what will likely be a tight game.

Oxford United v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Lynden Gooch
Photo by Leila Coker/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Kelvin Beattie says...

Burge, once again, was not really tested so it would be harsh to drop him, and the back three dealt well enough with what they had to face. Flanagan’s passing will always leave him vulnerable, and I am eager to see Xhemajli in action.

Hume and my man of the match at Oxford, Luke O’Nien, both did well enough to retain their place. I would make an offensive change in midfield and bring Scowen in for Leadbitter, who played as well as anybody last week.

Gooch deserves to be back in the starting line-up and I don’t think O’Brien has done enough in the opening two games of the League One campaign to warrant a start. Upfront, I would also start Grigg, with Maguire and Gooch either side of him.

On the bench, Neil and Diamond should get an opportunity to prove that their pre-season form could be translated into performances in League One. Wyke played well enough when he came on last week and could present an awkward option later in the game for the Posh defence to deal with, although he is not so effective as the lone striker.

I was struck by the effectiveness of the change to 4-4-2 against Bristol Rovers and hope Parky will use this again if we again find ourselves in the scenario of chasing the game.

Sunderland v Aston Villa U21: EFL Trophy
Arbenit Xhemajli
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Malcolm Dugdale says...

Being a fan of stable teams producing stable results, I doubt Parkinson will change things much, but I would if I was the man in charge.

In defence, despite Burge again having an unconvincing game at times at Oxford he is the best we have. O’Nien and Hume both did well last time, so will keep their place in the XI.

Xhemajli will start on the bench but I’d like to see him get a good run out if we are in a position to do so. His defensive attributes and passing ability could be the final piece in our long-term defensive jigsaw, but for now, Phil will likely stick with the current back three.

In midfield he may be forced to change again depending on the fitness of Max Power, and with the continued suspension for Dobson. I’d be ok with Power and Scowen in the middle, but considering Leadbitter’s performance at Oxford, if we do need partner him with Scowen then that raises less concern than it might have a week ago.

I’d be even happier to see Neil and Diamond at least at some point during the game. They both impressed going forward during pre-season where their creativity seemed to suit WIll Grigg, and he needs goals to build confidence.

Sunderland v Bristol Rovers - Sky Bet League One
Will Grigg
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

In attack, I’d like to see Grigg, Maguire and Gooch start, and let O’Brien and Graham have a place on the bench. They didn’t take chances at Oxford, so when you have a big squad and alternative options it makes sense to use them.

Finally, on the bench I really really want to see Diamond and Neil (if not in the starting XI) and I’d put Wyke in there too, with more of the youth who deserve an opportunity.

Posh are a decent team but they aren’t firing fully yet. This is a good chance to at least use the young exciting options to close the game out, even if they don’t start it. If they aren’t even on the bench and we go behind, we will struggle to recover the game.

Let’s see what he puts out there.

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