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Starting XI: Is this the Sunderland side that will take on Peterborough United?

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STARTING XI: Is this the Sunderland team that will take on Peterborough at the Stadium of Light today?

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

GK: Lee Burge

After his mistake on the opening day of the season led to Sunderland dropping two points, Lee Burge gained a vital clean sheet last weekend at promotion hopefuls Oxford United.

He looked uneasy on crosses in the opening minutes of last week’s game, but nothing improves the confidence of a goalkeeper like clean sheets, and he will feel more assured of his spot in the team now he is off the mark for the season.

Remi Matthews was signed as competition for the former Coventry stopper; Burge will be looking for a solid performance to make sure he keeps him at bay.


CB: Willis CB: Wright CB: Flanagan RWB: O'Nien LWB: Hume

Last weekend's win meant Sunderland are yet to concede from open play in any of the 4 games played this season. It looks like the back line which was strong last season has got even better following the introduction of some competition in the form of Arbenit Xhemajli.

Willis, Wright and Flanagan all complement each other well in a back three, and the energy of Hume and O'Nien means they're able to get up and down the pitch - something which is vital in the modern game. Sunderland still lack competition in those wing back positions, but as long as O'Nien and Hume keep performing, that's not an immediate concern just yet.


CM: Leadbitter CM: Power

Grant Leadbitter was a surprise choice to partner Max Power in the centre of midfield at Oxford, but with Power firmly in Parkinson's plans as a box-to-box player - along with Josh Scowen - it perhaps should have been predictable that he would opt for a holding midfielder in the shape of the club captain.

Against the weaker sides in the division I would like to see Parkinson go without this holding player, however last week at Oxford and today against Peterborough it makes sense to play with a bit more caution given the strength of the opposition.

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

AM: Maguire AM: Gooch

Chris Maguire is probably the first name on Sunderland's team sheet, and has assumed the Aiden McGeady role of playing sh*te for 80 minutes before scoring an important goal.

His partner in attacking midfield - or as a second striker - has been Aiden O'Brien for the first two league games. The new signing has showed some good link-up play so far, but with Will Grigg dropping out of the team, I think Parkinson will go for last week's goalscorer Lynden Gooch in order to provide some penetration behind the Peterborough defence.

Gooch has made a positive impact in both of his substitute appearances in League One, and his direct running can be too much for defenders to handle at this level - something we saw with his goal last weekend.

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

ST: Danny Graham

After starting on the bench for the first game of the season, Danny Graham was straight into the starting eleven last weekend - something which implies he has been signed as Parkinson's first choice striker.

I was disappointed with his inability to get into the game in his first start for the club, but I believe that the omission of Aiden O'Brien could allow Graham to become the focal point if the Sunderland attack, and Gooch's inclusion would provide the legs necessary around a 34 year old target man.