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Accrington Stanley v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One

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Score Predictions: What do you reckon will happen when Sunderland take on Lincoln today?

The relentless League One schedule continues, as Sunderland return home to face Lincoln City. Will we have enough to overcome the early pacesetters? Here’s what our panel thinks.

Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images

Last Time Out...

All six of our panel backed Sunderland to take all three points at Stanley in midweek, but only our top two claimed three points themselves by calling the 2-0 scoreline.

The rest all picked up one for the win, which means it’s Jack and Matthew starting to pull away from the rest and Martin is running out of weeks to claw back the gap and avoid the wooden spoon.

Let’s find out if our panel back us to return to League One action in style, and review this round of predictions...

Philip Butler Predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 2-0 Lincoln City

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Ross Stewart

HMS p*ss the league keeps steaming on as new boy Ross Stewart played the role of super sub before Charlie Wyke shrugged and reminded everyone why he’s the main marksman at the club by joining in on the act himself.

It may be weird to consider a player of Ross Stewart’s size not an out-and-out centre forward, but his movement and the fact that he has played out wide for Ross County this season makes me think he’ll take up the Aiden O’Brien role behind Wyke.

For this reason, I think Lee Johnson will see no problem in fielding both of the goalscorers from midweek from the start, and I’m backing Stewart to get his second goal in as many games as Sunderland glide to a repeat of the midweek scoreline against promotion rivals Lincoln.

Accrington Stanley v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Stewart impressed from the bench – is he in line for a start?
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Malcolm Dugdale Predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 2-0 Lincoln City

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Charlie Wyke

This scoreline is becoming the go-to scoreboard display for the lads when points are key and performance is comparatively less important. That said, if we see another spectacle like the fixture at Sincil Bank (especially the first half, where Jack Diamond was unplayable) we may well see way more than a solid three points collection mission.

With Lincoln in free fall I fully expect them to come to our place looking for an away point at least, against a major threat to their hopes of play offs or more. We may need to find a different way to break them down rather than being simply superior in counter attack and finishing, as we were last time, though having that available is very welcome too.

We will have to be at our best to continue our run, but if it comes down to form we should have more than enough, especially if we see the return of a well-polished Diamond, a Geads wanting to park recent frustration, or a recovered Jordan Jones.

It would be good to see more of Stewart too, though I’m trusting the coach more every day to pick the right mix of players and tactics to carry on our epic streak towards the auto spots.

The result is the only key thing for the rest of the season, but I’m hoping a win, and a convincing one, is what we get to experience.

Lincoln City v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Jack Diamond was in fine form when we played Lincoln at Sincil Bank
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Matthew Foster Predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 2-1 Lincoln City

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Charlie Wyke

Following our 2-1 defeat to Shrewsbury in February, we sat 11 points and six places behind top of the table Lincoln, with play-offs seeming like the best outcome for our season.

Fast forward five weeks and we now sit two points above Lincoln with a game in hand, and our resurgence has well and truly pulled us into contention for the automatic places.

A win for us here could potentially force Lincoln out of the running, which is mad for a side that has spent a vast portion of the season in the top two.

Our form is impeccable – with clean sheets to boot – while Lincoln have struggled with three defeats in five, including a 2-1 defeat against basement boys Rochdale last weekend.

I think it’ll be a tight game, but I can’t help backing another win, albeit with our clean sheet run coming to an end.

Crewe Alexandra v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Matthew predicts our run of clean sheets is about to come to an end!
Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Jack Howe-Gingell Predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 3-0 Lincoln City

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Charlie Wyke

Another game in the promotion push, and a top six rival rears its head again. Lincoln seem to be coming apart at the seams, culminating in us leapfrogging them on Wednesday evening into third place.

In a strange statistic, this is the third league game running than Sunderland are playing a side who have lost 4 of their last 6 games. Lincoln’s form is in tatters, and a recent battering by Fat Controller inspired air footballers Gillingham, has condemned them to two losses on the spin. Jorge Grant and Anthony Scully are likely to be their main threats but I expect us to take them apart, much as we did at Sincil Bank.

We seem to be getting players back to fitness with each game that comes and I wonder if Denver Hume may get an opportunity, after he resumed full training. There is also the conundrum of playing Ross Stewart, who made an impressive debut midweek. We need someone who can support Wyke effectively, and he certainly did that with his presence on Wednesday.

I fancy us to put a bit of a show on. We often excel against the perceived better sides in this division and I can see it happening again.

Accrington Stanley v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Will Charlie Wyke be celebrating yet another goal this afternoon for Sunderland against Lincoln City
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Will Jones Predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 1-0 Lincoln City

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Lynden Gooch

On paper this game is one of the hardest games we have. Third versus fourth, and a place looking into the automatic places is on the line.

However Lincoln are lower mid table on the form table having lost four of the last six and won two of the last 10 in all comps.

A key ingredient to success in this league, especially when you see how inconsistent teams are, is playing them at the right time. We have done with the previous two and now another one coming up.

We however are in impeccable form and everyone should be running scared. I feel Lincoln will play a fast counter attacking style and look to create chances while waiting for us to commit men like Accrington did.

With clean sheets galore for us in 2021 and a solid back line, I see us keeping another, but another scrappy affair at the SOL is what I predict, but when the wind is blowing in your favour and confidence is high, you always seem to come out on top, putting us convincingly into the top three and making it a three horse race for the title.

Accrington Stanley v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Another clean sheet for Burge?
Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images

Martin Wanless Predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 1-0 Lincoln City

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Ross Stewart

Aside from grinding out a much-needed win on Wednesday night, the highlight of the evening was the debut goal and performance of Ross Stewart. The Scottish striker showed a nice touch and has a significant aerial threat. When we’ve been so reliant on Charlie Wyke’s goals, it’s encouraging to have someone else in our arsenal.

Today’s game is going to be a stern test – Lincoln showed they’re no mugs in our Semi Final win, and I expect a tight game. They’re on a poor run of form, but I don’t envisage that affecting the outcome too much.

I foresee a tense affair on the cards – and a winner from substitute Stewart. 1-0, and the bandwagon rolls on.


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