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Sunderland Training Session

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Who gets your vote to start the season between the sticks for Sunderland?

It looks like Lee Johnson will be choosing between Lee Burge and Anthony Patterson as his first-choice goalkeeper this season. So, who gets the nod to start against Wigan Athletic in our season opener?

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Martin Wanless says...

I think it’s got to be League One’s keeper of the year, Lee Burge. I must admit, I was hoping for a new number one to be signed this summer, but in the absence of a new arrival, Burge will surely keep his place.

Patterson’s time will come this season, but his forays from the line in pre-season have worried me – yes, he’s trying to be aggressive and proactive, but it needs to be done cautiously.

I like Patterson though, he comes for crosses and saves well, and I certainly wouldn’t be adverse to him starting against Wigan – but give the lack of experience in the back four as it stands, I don’t think Johnson will voluntarily reduce that experience level any further.

Spennymoor Town v Sunderland - Pre Season Friendly
Anthony Patterson during our pre-season friendly match at Spennymoor Town
Photo by Will Matthews/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Andrew Smithson says...

I think the goalkeeping position is one of Lee Johnson’s toughest selection issues at the moment.

I could understand it if he opted for Lee Burge’s experience, particularly if we have to put a couple of square pegs in across the back four, but Anthony Patterson has been working hard and is at a stage now where in order for him to develop further he needs to be playing senior games.

His distribution was very good against Hull City on Friday night and that might be a factor in Johnson’s thinking, and even if he gives Burge to nod for the weekend we’ve got the Port Vale League Cup tie a few days later and that might be an ideal time to test him.

Sunderland v Lincoln City - Sky Bet League One Play-off Semi Final 2nd Leg
Lee Burge following our play-off semi-final defeat in May
Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Chris Wynn says...

It’s going to be Lee Burge who starts off as number one, but with the knowledge that he has a young player who the management rate highly breathing down his neck.

I think on his day Lee Burge is a good goalkeeper. He looked very assured when he was given early opportunities after his arrival from Coventry City, but then the confidence seemed to drain from him. He regained it to a certain extent last season but I’m sure he’ll be aiming to show more consistency this season.

I’d have no real issues with Anthony Patterson waiting in the wing for his chance, I think he showed his inexperience against Hull City and he will learn quickly if there are more opportunities.

It’s going to be a long season, especially if we progress in the Pizza Cup as we did last season and if he impresses in those he could force Lee Johnson into making a tough decision.

Sunderland Training Session
Anthony Patterson (left) and Lee Burge during pre-season training
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images


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