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Sunderland v Lincoln City - Sky Bet League One - Stadium of Light

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Score Predictions: Can Sunderland start the bank holiday weekend with a victory against Oxford?

Two huge games for Sunderland in four days and it starts today at the Stadium of Light against Oxford United - will the Roker Report team predict they’ll get off to a flying start?

Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

Last Time Out...

All six of our panel backed Sunderland to take all three points... but all backed us to win by a bigger margin than a single goal, and as nobody went for O’Brien to open the scoring, it’s a point all round – so no change to the table.

Let’s find out if our panel back us to take all three points from today’s clash with Oxford United as we review this round of predictions...

Philip Butler Predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 2-0 Oxford United

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Charlie Wyke

After a couple of baron weeks in terms of games played - at least by pandemic League One standards - the next four days have the potential to be crucial for Sunderland’s season. It was against Peterborough on Easter weekend where Jack Ross’ post-Checkatrade promotion push collapsed as his side failed to hold on to a late lead, hopefully the opposite will be true on Monday.

However, before that we have another decent side in the form of Oxford United to entertain and they are a team we underestimate at our peril. Their mediocre league position goes to show their shocking start to the campaign rather than any significant lack of quality compared to the top six.

I do, however, think we’re on a roll right now and with another almost week-long break there’s no reason why a fresh Sunderland side can’t fire us to victory on Good Friday before celebrating with fish and chips.

For scorers, Chaz netted on his debut in this fixture two years ago so let’s have another this afternoon.

Sunderland v Oxford United - Sky Bet League One
Charlie Wyke celebrating his goal at the Stadium of Light against Oxford in September 2018 - let’s hope he’s doing the same again today
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Malcolm Dugdale Predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 2-0 Oxford United

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Charlie Wyke

With the pressure of the top two looming I am looking to the lads this Good Friday to have a really good solid performance, something akin to the Portsmouth one in March that we then able to build on.

We have ground out a few results of late, and whilst I will happily take that for the next ten games, it would be nice to return to the type of performance we saw at Fratton Park. Oxford are a good side, though they were surprisingly beaten by Tranmere in the Papa John’s semi, a game I watched and that I thought they thoroughly deserved to lose. Hopefully that’s the side that turn up today.

I don’t believe we have ever beaten Oxford at the SOL while in this league, and this is our season of hoodoo busting so let’s sort that one out while we are on this run.

Wyke was the easy choice for first scorer recently, but he has had a bit of a dip in scoring the past few games, though his all round play has remained decent. He will be keen to get back on terms with his competitors for the League One golden boot this weekend, hence I’m backing him to get us off the mark, probably with that head of his, and probably off a McGeady assist.

We need four points from the next two games minimum for me, and this is on paper an easier win than away to Posh, so let’s get these three and then go for it at my local club on Monday, but one game at a time, and this one I’m calling 2-0.

Bristol Rovers v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One - Memorial Stadium
Will Aiden McGeady play the role of provider once again this afternoon for Sunderland?
Photo by Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images

Matthew Foster Predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 2-1 Oxford United

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Aiden McGeady

What a huge weekend this is for Sunderland.

Two games against two decent sides, which could go a huge way in defining at what side of the promotion line we finish. First up is Oxford, who after a poor start to the season have clambered up the league and put themselves into contention for a play-off place.

They had a great win against Lincoln, but their form is very patchy, and haven’t won back to back games since the beginning of February. Our form on the other hand is superb, all with a team ravaged by injuries.

The sheer fact we will see ourselves come up to near full strength at so late in the season, can only work in our favour. A win here ramps up the pressure on Peterborough going into Monday’s game, and I can see us just having enough to edge past The U’s.

Bristol Rovers v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Can Aiden O’Brien continue his goalscoring form from last weekend?
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Jack Howe-Gingell Predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 2-0 Oxford United

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Aiden McGeady

A love an Easter Weekend of fixtures and ours are absolutely crucial. I have no doubt we will be targeting wins but four points from the next two would still be good.

Oxford’s form has been fifty/fifty of late - 6 games played. 3 won and 3 lost. This inconsistency has seen their play-off push taper off, though they have good results over Doncaster and Lincoln. They can clearly play when it suits, so we will need to be mindful.

Matt Taylor is their danger man with 14 this season - two seasons running he has hit double figures, and will need to watched closely by our defence.

We’re likely to be boosted by the presence of Jordan Jones who could have a massive influence on the game. I suspect he will be used as a substitute, and will be eager to pick up where he left off.

I think we will have enough to see off Oxford but I would like us to step up a little performance-wise. That said, we usually raise our game against the better sides in this league and the next two could determine the future of our promotion campaign.

Sunderland v Lincoln City - Sky Bet League One
Can Lee Burge keep another clean sheet between the stick for Sunderland today?
Photo by Andrew Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

Will Jones Predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 1-1 Oxford United

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Lynden Gooch

The beginning of the end or the beginning of it all?

A lot rides on what happens this weekend mentally and I for one and hoping that none of the squad have even thought about Monday.

Oxford beat a war torn Lincoln, but only just. They are in shambolic form but seeing how many teams in and around them they will want to grind and push for a play-off spot.

They may or may not have Ruffels, their starting left-back, and we may or may not have Jones and Wright. I hope that we can hack another game with a back four that is like a stuck on plaster, because mistakes are leaking through and stability right now is key.

A victory is needed here but purely based off our last two games, I see us taking the lead early but not managing to put them away and they will fight to get a draw out of this, which will not be enough for either side.

Oxford United v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Will Lynden Gooch score yet again against Oxford United?
Photo by Leila Coker/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Martin Wanless Predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 1-0 Oxford United

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Charlie Wyke

Promotion pushes always have a couple of pivotal fixtures, and this is the first of two that I think will determine our fate. Oxford are a good side, and have performed really well over recent months – in fact, they’ve got almost as many points as we have since Johnson took over at the SOL.

I think it’s going to be a tight game – it’s a fixture I really wish we had fans in for, as it’s one where our home crowd would really make a positive difference. Ultimately, I don’t care how we play, it’s all about the result. I’m going for a 1-0 win thanks to an early Charlie Wyke goal – and a few scares coming towards the end that we just about manage to ride out.


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