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Roker Report Score Predictions: Can Sunderland return to winning ways against Swindon tonight?

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Was our draw at Crewe just a blip or a downturn in form? Our panel decide once again whether to back Lee Johnson’s side to bounce back from a lacklustre afternoon on Saturday - let us know what you think!

Cheltenham Town v Northampton Town - Sky Bet League Two Play Off - Semi Final - Second Leg - The Jonny-Rocks Stadium Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images

Last Time Out...

Our panel went all out last time out backing the Lads to make it four in a row - and ultimately paid the price. No points for anyone on Saturday, so I guess Jack is the happiest of our six predictors as a result.

Are are panel backing us to return to winning ways against Swindon at the Stadium of Light tonight? Let’s find out, in this round of predictions...


Philip Butler Predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 2 - 0 Swindon Town

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Charlie Wyke

Tonight’s opponents are in a decent little run of form having won two of their last three games and drawing the other. After a thrilling comeback on Saturday, it’s difficult to predict how this one will go but I prefer to be optimistic and see the draw at Crewe as a minor blip rather than the sign of a downturn in Sunderland’s form.

After conceding two goals at the weekend, I think Sunderland will be keen to keep a clean sheet to prove their defensive credentials, allowing the attacking talent at the other end of the pitch to fire us to victory rather than pick up the pieces.

Charlie Wyke hasn’t scored in the last couple of games, which means he’s due another goal hopefully starting tonight.

Sunderland v Fleetwood Town - Sky Bet League One
Charlie Wyke hasn’t scored in the last couple, Phil’s hoping this run will end tonight
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Malcolm Dugdale Predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 3 - 1 Swindon Town

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Jordan Jones

I am hopeful that many lessons will be taken from the Crewe draw, which was in truth a very poor performance from many of the team for most of the 99 mins played.

Our blushes and promotion push were only saved by two stunning pieces of individual brilliance by Jones and Maguire, and we cannot rely on two “goal of the month” contenders in one match happening too often.

I’d like to see Jones given a start and McGeady switched to the bench, using the latter as the impact sub rather than the reverse as it has been. Jones more than deserves a start, and McGeady was anonymous and wasteful at Crewe.

We will also see a change in the holding midfielder role, and I’d like to see Power there with Dan Neil coming in for Grant. We lacked dynamism on Saturday, and were out pressed by a Crewe team who were way more up for it. We need to get that back, and with the passing of Neil to release the attacking trio, we should hopefully have enough for a comfortable win.

I’d rotate out Gooch for Maguire too, and I’d give Winchester time from the bench in the second half, as Powers legs will tire after an hour.

The biggest challenge for Johnson is what we do with our defence and especially left back. I’d prefer we revert to a back three using Vokins and maybe Diamond as wing backs, as it is clear we do not have a talented enough left back even for this league, and we must resume three point hauls ASAP to stay top two slots. Back on the winning roll please lads.

Crewe Alexandra v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Can Jordan Jones repeat his goalscoring exploits from the weekend tonight against Swindon?
Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Matthew Foster Predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 3 - 0 Swindon Town

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Charlie Wyke

We needed two sublime efforts from Jones and Maguire to come away with a point, leaving ‘little old Crewe’ wondering how they haven’t won.

However, I doubt we will be as fortunate the next time we play as poor as that, so hopefully we see improvements starting today. We’re up against a Swindon side that are scrapping to avoid an immediate return to League Two, and currently sit three points above the trap door.

One way they can ensure safety is to improve on their travels, having won only two out of fourteen on the road. But that alone doesn’t make it a foregone conclusion, even with our home form improving.

Jones perhaps deserves a chance in the starting XI today, as his energy and pace has been continuously effective when he’s introduced. Despite this being a potential banana skin, I have to go with a home win, and hopefully a similar ruthless performance we showed against Doncaster.

Hull City v Swindon Town - Sky Bet League One
Swindon Town manager John Sheridan
Photo by Lee Parker - CameraSport via Getty Images

Jack Howe-Gingell Predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 3 - 0 Swindon Town

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Charlie Wyke

An eventful game last time, and possibly our worst performance of the season for most of it - I’m hoping for a calm and all more convincing affair this time around.

Swindon have found it tough this season, sitting a few points above the League One drop zone, though recent form has improved with 2 wins from their last 3 and a creditable 2-2 draw with high flying Lincoln.

Brett Pitman leads their scoring charts and the veteran will need to be watched well to ensure he doesn’t get into any poaching opportunities he desires. Alongside this, Swindon are a decent attacking side so will try to threaten, but have a soft underbelly that we must exploit.

It will be interesting to see if Johnson makes any changes from the Crewe game - Grant Leadbitter’s may see a start for Carl Winchester, and the quality of provided by Jordan Jones and Chris Maguire must bring them into contention.

I fancy us to bounce back in front of our home multi-cameras, and win convincingly. I’ve jinxed Wyke in recent weeks, but I back him to chip in this time around.

Crewe Alexandra v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Will Saturday’s hero Chris Maguire have an opportunity to continue his for tonight against Swindon?
Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Will Jones Predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 2 - 0 Swindon Town

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Aiden McGeady

We should have confidence and a lot of fight. This is the first time in a long time I’ve felt like we battled, and in my eyes, prevailed with more than we deserved. Every point is crucial and is something that we need to build on with 10 points from the last 4 games.

Swindon are in a relegation dogfight. This game will not be easy. But should be one we show quality. Our home form has been transformed in 2021 and something that is the reason we aren’t up at the top. We need to be professional once again. Be at them and comfortable within the first 20 minutes, like we were in previous games.

This is the start of a week which should and NEEDS to be 6 points. Swindon will have a new keeper in and his lack of rapport with the team is something we need to exploit. We have the team, we nearly slipped up. Let’s hope that’s enough shock to put another 3 points on the board.

Crewe Alexandra v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Will is backing Aiden McGeady to get the ball rolling for Sunderland tonight
Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Martin Wanless Predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 3-0 Swindon Town

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Jordan Jones

Sometimes, a game is pivotal in how a season turns out. The Reading defeat in 1997-98 is a famous one of course, but Saturday’s draw at Crewe had huge parallels with the Burnley away game in Keane’s promotion season. It acts as a kick up the arse, refocuses everyone and the manager learns a hell of a lot.

The performance of the subs on Saturday was a stand out, and I’m hopeful that Jones and Maguire will have given Johnson some clarity on his starting XI for tonight’s game against Swindon. I hope – and expect – both of them will play, in place of O’Brien and Gooch.

I’ve never liked Swindon. I still have nightmares about walking out of Wembley in 1990, and scores of their fans taunting us. ‘We’re going up, we’re going up, you’re not, you’re not,” they imaginatively shouted, ad nauseum.

Well they couldn’t have been more wrong, as that one turned out.

Hopefully, I’m not. We need all three points – while it’s technically not a must win game, it feels like it is a must win game if we have automatic promotion hopes. 3-0, and I hope my confidence isn’t misplaced.