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Sunderland v Blackburn Rovers - Sky Bet Championship

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Roker Report Score Predictions 2022-23: Game 25 - Wigan Athletic v Sunderland

Boxing Day resulted in three valuable points for the lads. Will the Roker Report Predictions collective back the red and white army to continue their good away form at struggling Wigan?

Photo by Lee Parker - CameraSport via Getty Images

Last time around... Sunderland 2 Blackburn Rovers 1

The lads made it two home wins in the last three games on Boxing Day, with a hard-fought 2-1 victory against Blackburn. It delivered a touch of revenge too, settling the score a little given the heavily referee-influenced loss at Ewood Park in October.

It wasn’t the best performance by the lads, but sometimes you have to grind results out, and Boxing Day went right to the final whistle with Simms toe-poking a perfectly placed shot in the 91st minute to secure the win.

Sunderland v Blackburn Rovers - Sky Bet Championship
A proper poachers goal from Ellis. Top notch.
Photo by Lee Parker - CameraSport via Getty Images

While it wasn’t a pure spectacle for the neutral to watch, gritty and determined outings from the likes of O’Nien, Ballard and Patterson were complemented by skills and wizardry by Amad, Stewart and Simms, and we certainly deserved the victory on balance in the view of the majority.

In terms of success for the predictions posse, Malc got this one perfectly right, calling the 2-1 win and the Stewart opener. Jack and Bomber picked up a single point for backing a win, and everyone bar Will and Bomber got a point for Ross converting his spot kick for our first, but weirdly his second of the game (the other being in our own goal, after a terribly unlucky double deflection).


Predictions League Table - after 24 games

Will now has company at the top of the table with Matty joint first on 22 points. Jack stays within a four point perfect prediction of overtaking them.

Malc is now breathing down the back of Bomber’s neck after his four point injection from the Blackburn prediction, while Martin is left a few points adrift at the bottom after only getting a single point from his Boxing Day thoughts.

As we approach the end of 2022 and prepare for the business end of the season in the first half of 2023, only ten points divide the top and bottom of our predictions table. Coincidentally, that is the same points difference as the real gap between the playoff positions in the Championship (presently held by Millwall in 6th) and the relegation places (as we stand, Blackpool on 25 points in 22nd place).

Both leagues are wide open, and this second half of the campaign will be crucial to success or otherwise for the season, as is always the case.


How the points are awarded...

Just a quick reminder on how we allocate points to our match-by-match predictions:

  • Correct score = 3 points
  • Correct outcome (but not correct score) = 1 point
  • Correct first Sunderland goalscorer = 1 point (no goal scorer is a valid call)
  • Possible deductions for being lazy and not submitting on time = TBC at Malc’s discretion…

Malc Dugdale predicts...

Score Prediction: Wigan 0 - Sunderland 2

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Ross Stewart

The big man is in fine form since his return from injury, and I am very hopeful Ross can get an early goal in this fixture as he did in the last one. That would really put “Sunderland B” on the back foot despite them being at home, and we need some discord with the home fans to be part of the tactics in my view.

I am also hopeful that Tony Mowbray will start the game with the team similar to how we finished Boxing Day - with a back three, wing backs and two up front. When we press from the top we generally force mistakes in the attacking third, and if we have both Ellis and Ross on the grass when that happens, early mistakes could result in early goals.

Sunderland v Blackburn Rovers - Sky Bet Championship
Great result on Boxing Day Tony.
Photo by Lee Parker - CameraSport via Getty Images

If we really get a hold of this game it could be way more than two goals for us, but we also need to remember that Toure will be keen to limit recent damage and then build results back up. They may well play a defensive setup and try to hit us on the break rather than get all “gung ho”… either way, I don’t think they can keep us out, nor can they outscore us.


Matty Foster predicts...

Score Prediction: Wigan 0 - Sunderland 2

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Amad Diallo

A lot has changed at Wigan since we beat them in October. They have a meagre one win in ten since then, hence their replacement of Leam Richardson with Kolo Toure.

He has yet to find the winning remedy, but he will need to find it quickly as Wigan could be cut adrift in the bottom three if this form continues.

Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion - Sky Bet Championship
Dia Dia Diallo…
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

There’s a feel-good factor after our stoppage time winner against Blackburn. And whilst this will certainly be no walkover, I can see another three points heading back to Wearside.


Bomber Davies predicts...

Score Prediction: Wigan 1 - Sunderland 2

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Ross Stewart

Wigan’s form for November / December might have dropped off a cliff, but I certainly don’t believe this is going to be the easy ride many think it will be.

In fairness to Kolo Toure he has had to go away to Millwall and Boro, with a home game vs Sheffield United wedged between them.

Sunderland v Blackburn Rovers - Sky Bet Championship
Clinical from the spot, in fact from most places.
Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Yes Wigan are an objectively poor side who occupy a place in the relegation zone, but there are too many ex-Sunderland players who still feel they have points to prove for it to be an easy 3-points.


Martin Wanless predicts...

Score Prediction: Wigan 0 Sunderland 3

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Ross Stewart

Wigan are on a poor run of form, with new manager Kolo Toure’s arrival doing little to change the fortune of the Latics.

While they were better than us overall last season, we were still able to beat them convincingly both home and away, and with our strikers returning to fitness I see no reason for that run not to continue.

Millwall v Wigan Athletic - Sky Bet Championship
He was a great player, can he rescue Wigan from the drop as coach?
Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

A repeat of last season’s win at their place will do me fine, and would wrap up an excellent 2022 in style.


Will Jones predicts...

Score Prediction: Wigan 0 - Sunderland 2

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Amad Diallo

After a great turnaround on Boxing Day, the boys seem to be getting a run together now we have strikers to hand.

Wigan, on the other hand, seem to be dropping like a stone, in the league and with injuries, I am worried about how they will cope with SAS, but I think they will try and hold out.

Sunderland v Blackburn Rovers - Sky Bet Championship
Many hope he starts today with Stewart and not from the bench.
Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

If Mogga’s plan comes together I can see it being a simple win, hard-fought at times, but no pressure and just take the points and leave.


Jack Howe-Gingell predicts...

Score Prediction: Wigan 1 - Sunderland 3

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Ross Stewart

After ending our dismal recent home form, we’re back on the road with a double north-west header starting at Wigan.

Meme merchant Kolo Toure is now in charge and has yet to win in his three games this season, most recently suffering a mauling by Middlesbrough.

Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion - Sky Bet Championship
Will Diallo conduct the tune? Will Pritchard be back to assist?
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

I think we’ll be too strong for them and will be bouncing after a last minute winner on Boxing Day. Expect Diallo and Stewart to be the catalyst for another away result.


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