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Roker Report Wembley Predictions: Is it Sunderland’s name on the cup?

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Surely every single member of our panel are backing Sunderland to win the Papa John’s Trophy today?! Let us know your predictions for today’s Wembley final!

Portsmouth v Sunderland - Checkatrade Trophy Final Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

Last Time Out...

After seeing his lead at the top slowly cut over previous weeks, Jack claimed maximum points to stretch his lead back to five over Matthew, who drew a blank in midweek. Malcolm also claimed a couple of points to get back level with Phil in third, and Will and Martin remain as they were after picking up a point each.

Today it’s predicting the outcome of a cup final and surely they’re all backing us to lift the trophy at Wembley today? Let’s find out, in this round of predictions...


Philip Butler Predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 4 - 0 Tranmere Rovers

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Tom Flanagan

I have to say I’m dangerously confident for this game, but I can’t see anything but a Sunderland win against lower league opposition in the form we’re currently in. Add to our form the fact that nothing would be more Sunderland than waiting 48 years for a win at Wembley only to do so when no fans can go, and the trophy is surely ours.

In the league, sometimes when we’re two-goals up the opposition can go into damage limitation, but without goal difference in this game there’s no reason why we can’t get a couple more goals to really rub salt into James Vaughan’s wounds, and with players returning from injury at the back I’m also fairly confident we can keep a clean sheet.

As for the first goalscorer, I have a weird feeling that we’re going to open the scoring from a corner, and since Dion Sanderson scored from one a couple of weeks ago, I think it’ll be Tom Flanagan’s turn this weekend. I’m also just fairly sick of reverting back to Charlie Wyke for first goalscorer so I fancy a change on that front.

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

Malcolm Dugdale Predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 2 - 0 Tranmere Rovers

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Aiden McGeady

Seems to be our thing to win 2-0, be that against fellow playoff and promotion contenders in one recent game, or against basement battlers in another.

With the form we’re in, and the fact Tranmere are a league below (though doing well), we should really blow these guys away. I watched the semi-final however and they thoroughly deserved their place final, and will no doubt do themselves proud against another promotion chasing League One side - much like they did against Oxford and Peterborough.

I’m picking Aiden McGeady to score first as he has a great track record for us on the big stage. He more or less single-handedly kept us in the final against Pompey when we lost on pens under Ross.

He has had a season very much of two halves, but he remains the consummate pro. He deserves as much as anyone to go out there and have his day at Wembley, where he scores the opener and breaks the Wembley curse once and for all.

Go get it Geads, we have your back marra, and it is no less than you deserve after what Parky did to your SAFC career.

Crewe Alexandra v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
“He is the man. End of debate” according to Malcolm Dugdale
Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Matthew Foster Predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 2 - 0 Tranmere Rovers

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Aiden McGeady

After 48 years and seven losses, it’s about time we had some luck at Wembley, even if it’s only for the Pizza Trophy! There’s certainly no better opportunity to win some form of silverware than today, but by no means should we underestimate Tranmere Rovers.

They are flying high in League Two, and in this competition have taken the scalps of Peterborough and Oxford. Our defence will need a shuffle, but our frontline is likely to have all our big hitters, and I can see McGeady working his magic at Wembley once again.

Hopefully we can hit them early doors, and if we do, I see the Final being one-way traffic. Thankfully their main-man Vaughan won’t have a chance to come back to haunt us, but I was always going to predict the silverware heading back to Wearside!

Chips au fromage à Wembley Way!

Portsmouth v Sunderland - Checkatrade Trophy Final
Chips au fromage à Wembley Way!
Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

Jack Howe-Gingell Predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 3 - 0 Tranmere Rovers

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Charlie Wyke

A cup final even in a trophy as small as this, is a cup final.

It saddens me to think about no one being able to attend and roar on the lads, as we always do, but it will be typical Sunderland to break the Wembley hoodoo without a soul in attendance.

Unjustifiably arrogant and Tranmere top scorer James Vaughan is unavailable, and although I’m fully aware of how poor he is, we have a tendency to succumb to bogey players, so I’m chuffed by his absence. Probably more so due to his insufferable nature.

We should have more than enough quality in the squad to see them off at a canter, and this is said in confidence rather than arrogance. The lads will still need to step up and perform, but it will be a great occasion for them.

We can’t be there but we can still get behind them - get the cans out and make a day of it. Ha’wayawayawayawaya!

Tranmere Rovers v Port Vale - Sky Bet League Two
James Vaughan is ruled out of the final through injury for Tranmere
Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images

Will Jones Predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 3 - 1 Tranmere Rovers

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Aiden McGeady

QUE SERA SERA!

Well, what can I say? What a run and what a time to be a Sunderland fan. Sun shining and winning is second nature.

Not sure on Tranmere other than the facts that they are doing well right now and James Vaughan is ruled out. I believe no matter the line up, we have a squad that can take these to the cleaners.

I hope McGeady can kick us off like he did in 2019, and that we can lift the trophy and Wyke lifts the golden boot.

Time to order myself some Papa Lees and get on the sofa and ready.

HAWAY THE LADS!

Portsmouth v Sunderland - Checkatrade Trophy Final
Will Aiden McGeady be celebrating another goal for Sunderland at Wembley this afternoon?
Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Martin Wanless Predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 5-1 Tranmere Rovers

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Charlie Wyke

Over confident? Probably. But there’s something about the way Lee Johnson’s got the side playing at present that really enthrals me – he seems light years ahead of any manager we’ve had since Big Sam in terms of his tactical approach, and has the side playing with a swagger we’ve not seen since Keane’s days.

I really fancy us to go all out and have a good win today – and as it’s a cup final Tranmere are unlikely to sit back if we go a couple of goals up.

Without Sanderson I’m not sure we’ll be able to keep a clean sheet, but I don’t think that’ll be an issue.

Here’s to a convincing victory that will get a winning mentality into the group and banish the Wembley hoodoo. Which could be vitally important in a couple of months’ time.