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Roker Report Score Predictions: Sunderland v Port Vale

It’s anyone’s guess as our panel try and predict Sunderland’s result in the unpredictable Papa John’s Trophy as we take on Port Vale for a place in the quarter-final - let us know what you think!

Rochdale v Hull City - Sky Bet League One Photo by Dave Howarth - CameraSport via Getty Images

After a couple of rounds where our panel fired blanks, I was reminded that we were playing for points when correct predictions started to roll in after the final whistle at the Stadium of Light on Saturday night.

Matthew was our biggest winner with a correct score of 1-1 gaining him three points in our table. this takes him a point within our now outright leader Jack as he picked up a point for the Aiden McGeady header. Phil also kept in the mix at the top as he picked up a point for correctly calling the draw.

But it’s back to the unpredictable world of Papa John’s Trophy action as Sunderland take on Port Vale in the third round at the Stadium of Light - let’s find out what our panel go for in this round of predictions...

Philip Butler predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 2 - 0 Port Vale

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Chris Maguire

I’m hoping Lee Johnson will make a few changes as he looks to play some of the fringe players into form in time for the league games.

Chris Maguire has been nudged out of the team by Aiden McGeady’s return, and Sunderland are in desperate need of both he and Lynden Gooch to return to their goalscoring form of last season. I’m backing the former Oxford fan-favourite to put the pressure on Saturday’s goalscorer by netting tonight.

Port Vale are a pretty poor side, and I’m at a loss predicting results in this cup so 2-0 seems a pretty safe bet since Sunderland’s defence looks pretty solid against sides who look to play on the counter.

Northampton Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Chris Maguire
Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

Malcolm Dugdale predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 2 - 1 Port Vale

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Elliot Embleton

After what feels like a long spell since we had a win, we really need to get one in the cup both for confidence in and around the team, but also to let Johnson see what works as well and what doesn’t.

I expect the coach to ring the changes and for Embo to get a start, and I really hope he grabs it with both hands. He is the type of attack minded, forward going player we need more of in the midfield and supporting the front line, and a goal would be great too.

I’m not backing the lads to keep a clean sheet as that is the least of Johnson’s concerns and something I would fix later once I get the team scoring, hence the one goal win. If it is a higher margin as the lads click then great, but we are goal shy hence the prediction.

I hope that this game rings enough changes and is a convincing enough performance/result that it becomes a minor turning point for the lads. By giving more minutes to the likes of Embo, Gooch, Curry and Maguire while resting Burge, Leadbitter, McGeady and Wyke, we can take this game by the scruff and hopefully turn a corner.

We have Wimbledon away next Saturday and then Plymouth at home, two games which we simply must get six points from if we are serious about making a move for the promotion places. Teams around us are doing their bit with iffy results, we need to win and that needs to start in the Pizza Pot.

Sunderland v AFC Wimbledon - Sky Bet League One
Elliot Embleton
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Matthew Foster predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 2 - 1 Port Vale

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Jack Diamond

I sat on Saturday night pleased to bag three points for my correct score prediction, but disappointed we had drawn the game. But as has been prevalent this season, we were toothless in attack, and something I don’t doubt will be at the forefront of Johnson’s mind to address.

We return to action tonight in everybody’s favourite competition, the Ham & Pineapple Pizza Trophy, this time facing Port Vale.

It’s their first visit to the stadium since the turn of the century. And whilst the home advantage is somewhat out the window given the current situation, they have not fared well on Wearside, with only one win in their eleven up here, coming in the Full Members Cup in 1989.

I was intrigued to see new signing Carl Winchester involved, before discovering his involvement for Forest Green in the second round leaves him cup-tied, and that’s about the height of my intrigue in this match if I’m honest.

I’ve made no bones that I don’t like this competition, but of course, I never want to see us lose. So I’m backing a narrow win, with Diamond breaking the deadlock.

Lincoln City v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Jack Diamond watches the ball head towards goal as he scores Sunderland’s third at Lincoln City
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Jack Howe-Gingell predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 2 - 0 Port Vale

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Chris Maguire

I finally got a point last time out thanks to Aiden McGeady’s deft header, but still drawing a blank when it comes to predicting results or scorelines.

Port Vale seem to be a standard League Two side, and this is shown by their mid-table placing. They have only one win from their last five games, though I remember saying similar prior to the Mansfield game, and that went swimmingly.

Only Grimsby have shipped more goals than Port Vale this season which is a little contradictory to their mid-table position, so they must be capable of doing something right at the other end with an impressive 32 goals scored so far. This can only be bettered by teams in the top six of League Two.

Sunderland will need to be wary of this threat, and look to impose ourselves on the game. We could do with a lift and few goals would be a big positive. I’d like to see us take the game by the scruff of the neck and put Port Vale to the sword.

Northampton Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Aiden McGeady
Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

Will Jones predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 1 - 0 Port Vale

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Jack Diamond

In short, I am expecting 70% possession, eight shots with only two on target and only one goal to separate the two sides.

The Hull game, despite what we are lead to believe was a really good performance in my opinion. We limited a team who is renowned for scoring every game to next to no chances and a goal caused by a keepers lack of depth perception. Not exactly a cause for concern.

However it is blatant that our chance creation is woeful, somehow worse than the start of the season. I believe this will carry on statistically unless we see a change of style.

This is a very winnable game, I’d expect a mildly rotated side with a preference to the younger squad players given a chance to show what they can do.

Sunderland v Hull City - Sky Bet League One
Lynden Gooch
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Martin Wanless predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 3 - 1 Port Vale

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Lynden Gooch

Pick a number, any number! It feels like that at present, doesn’t it? I’m desperately hoping Lee Johnson’s seen what we can all see – that Sunderland’s attack simply isn’t good enough – and experiments in our Pizza Cup game against Port Vale.

However, it was evident against Northampton, too – and no changes came for Hull. But, given the competition, it’s another free hit for Johnson to experiment with.

It’s been mooted that Gooch could go up front, and I’d like to see this happen. I’ve long thought he’d make a good striker. He’s aggressive, has a bit of pace, can run on the last man and can finish. So In the absence of a striker worthy of the name at the club, let’s give him a crack.

I’m backing us to get a confidence booster before Saturday’s game with Wimbledon, so fingers crossed… 3-1.

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