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Roker Report Score Predictions: AFC Wimbledon v Sunderland

Sunderland return to League One action with our first ever trip to AFC Wimbledon’s brand spanking new home at Plough Lane - will our panel back Lee Johnson’s side to claim all three points? Let us know what you think!

Preston North End v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images

After weeks of suffering as our panel valiantly backed Sunderland to pull off results, they were all rewarded with points following our Papa John’s Trophy third round victory over Port Vale.

Jack and Phil especially saw the benefits after calling the correct scoreline of 2-0 which hinged on a 96th minute penalty by Aiden McGeady.

The rest of our panel all picked up a solitary point for predicting a home win but nobody had Aiden O’Brien to bag the opening goal.

In theory, it’s back to firmer predicting territory as Sunderland return to League One action with a trip to AFC Wimbledon. Let’s find out what our panel go for in this round of predictions...

Philip Butler predicts...

Score Prediction: AFC Wimbledon 0 - 3 Sunderland

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Aiden O’Brien

Thankfully, we are likely to see a very different Sunderland side than the one that took on AFC Wimbledon at the Stadium of Light in the final game before the squad’s COVID-induced winter break. I’m hoping the result will be just as different by predicting a comfortable 3-0 win for Lee Johnson’s men.

As for goalscorers, playing with a genuine front three or four means that the goals will be spread about under Johnson, which makes picking one player rather difficult. However, Aiden O’Brien scored in midweek and was the furthest forward of Sunderland’s players on Tuesday night. Hopefully, the former Millwall man will also bag first today.

Sunderland v Port Vale - Papa John’s Trophy Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Malcolm Dugdale predicts...

Score Prediction: AFC Wimbledon 0 - 2 Sunderland

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Lynden Gooch

After some promising signs in the Port Vale cup game I am pretty sure Gooch did enough to get a starting spot in the attacking aspect of midfield, if not upfront with another striker.

His pass for the opening goal was something we have sorely lacked, and his linkup with O’Brien (plus the finish by the latter) may well see both of them start, in place of a recently very lacklustre Wyke.

I am backing the lads to keep a clean sheet this time as AFC Wimbledon only got past a very rapidly assembled and much-changed team last time due to a penalty they duly converted. It is going to be critical to our progression up the league table that we don’t give lower teams a leg up like that, so we may well see more changes to the back four to seek a second clean sheet this week.

That said, the injury update on Hume means the penalty provider from last time (McFadzean) may be the only left back option. Hopefully, he has learned from that error and we will take all three points and a clean sheet to carry on building confidence and progress up the table.

Sunderland are one of only three teams in our league that Wimbledon have never ever beaten, so let’s take the win and continue to build positivity.

Sunderland v Port Vale - Papa John’s Trophy Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Matthew Foster predicts...

Score Prediction: AFC Wimbledon 1 - 2 Sunderland

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Lynden Gooch

While I have little interest in the competition itself, it was good to see a win on Tuesday. Not only did we score more than once, but we also kept a clean sheet, and those on the fringes strengthened their argument for a starting berth.

I personally wouldn’t change much going into today’s game. For one, I would leave Wyke warming the bench. While not wishing to be too scathing, but it genuinely astounds me how he’s managed double figures so far. I think that says more about the opponents we face than it does his natural goalscoring ability.

Our opponents Wimbledon are on a barren run in the league currently and are without a win since the beginning of December. In fact, their solitary point in the six games since, came against our depleted squad one month ago. They go into the game having fallen into the drop zone, albeit only on goal difference.

While we’re not on the best of runs ourselves, we should win this, surely? I say that, but the prediction table proves I’ve been wrong about that more than I’d like!

Sunderland v Port Vale - Papa John’s Trophy Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Jack Howe-Gingell predicts...

Score Prediction: AFC Wimbledon 0 - 2 Sunderland

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Aiden McGeady

Only seems like two minutes ago that we last squared up against Wimbledon, in that tumultuous affair where COVID-19 issues had ravaged the squad. We managed a creditable draw in that one, based upon the circumstances, but I’d hope for more this time.

Joe Pigott remains their main threat with eleven goals this season, and we will need to be wary of him. Other than him, Ryan Longman caused us a lot of issues in the reverse fixture and I hope we’ll have a plan for him this time.

Sunderland have shown some promise in parts of games against Hull in the league and Port Vale in the PJT - we need to turn some of this promise into a full game, much like the Lincoln result.

We need to start to find ways to overcome teams such as this, and not come unstuck like we did against Northampton - they will dig in and make it hard for us to break them down. I was enthused by performances from Embleton and Neil in the week, as well as a good showing up top from O’Brien and Gooch - more of that would get us on our way.

The game also has a bit of extra interest with the potential for Carl Winchester to make his debut, and hopefully, he can hit the ground running. Overall, I fancy us to play well and come out with three points, with a McGeady face melter for good measure.

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

Will Jones predicts...

Score Prediction: AFC Wimbledon 0 - 1 Sunderland

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Charlie Wyke

After a lot of rotation and players fighting for their place and gaining match fitness, LJ has a lot to ponder going into tomorrow’s game. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a largely unchanged side barring Power at RB and Winchester in to replace him.

I would like to see more free-flowing football than that seen at the SoL last Saturday. Passing with authority and the ability to break up defensive lines. It is obvious that progress has been made somewhat over LJ’s tenure, however, when it comes to teams sitting back and waiting to be broken down that is still an issue.

I predict a scrappy one, another high possession high shot performance, but once again, a low goal-scoring percentage from this.

Sunderland v Port Vale - EFL Trophy Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Martin Wanless predicts...

Score Prediction: AFC Wimbledon 1-3 Sunderland

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Aiden McGeady

My attempt at reverse psychology by predicting a Hull win didn’t pay off for any party last week, so I’m playing with a straight bat this time around. After a good win in midweek, I’m hoping we finally get our league campaign going with a win at Plough Lane.

Johnson’s team selection will be interesting – I imagine Gooch will be given a chance up front, maybe alongside O’Brien – and I’d not be at all surprised to see Winchester thrown straight in.

McGeady’s bagged a goal in the last two fixtures, and I think he’ll make it three in a row this afternoon. 3-1.

Sunderland Unveil New Signing Carl Winchester
Will Winchester make his debut this afternoon?
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

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