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Charlton Athletic v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One

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Starting XI: We’re predicting ONE change for the Lads tonight...

Who would you like to see in the line-up for tonight’s game against Fleetwood?

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Alex Neil’s been chopping and changing formation so far, which makes it difficult to predict the starting shape, as well as the personnel. After playing a back four at Wigan, he went to a three at Charlton, but I suspect we’ll go with a four tonight as it’s getting into must-win territory now.


Goalkeeper: Anthony Patterson

Another clean sheet for Patterson on Saturday, and while he’s not had a great deal to do in the past couple of games, what he has done he’s done well – and will surely keep his place tonight.

Charlton Athletic v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Growing in confidence
Photo by Ivan Yordanov/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Defence: Carl Winchester, Bailey Wright, Arbenit Xhemajli, Dennis Cirkin

Cirkin had his best game for some time on Saturday, attacking well from wing back, but I think we’ll see him in more of a traditional full back spot tonight. After two successive clean sheets away from home, only injury could really disrupt the partnership between Bailey Wright and Arby, while Winchester will continue at right back – Neil obviously doesn’t fancy Trai Hume just yet.

Charlton Athletic v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Dennis Cirkin impressed against Charlton after a good display at Wigan
Photo by Ivan Yordanov/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Midfield: Jay Matete, Corry Evans

Matete and Evans are forming a decent partnership and will likely continue against Matete’s former club tonight. It’ll be good to see Dan Neil come back into the team at some point, but for now, I don’t think we’ll be changing the midfield partnership up. It’ll be interesting to watch how Matete does against his former teammates – it’s a different type of challenge for him and he’ll be looking to impress.

Fleetwood Town v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet League One
Matete in action for Fleetwood earlier in the season
Photo by Dave Howarth - CameraSport via Getty Images


Attacking midfield: Lynden Gooch, Elliot Embleton, Nathan Broadhead

Alex Neil seems to have taken a liking to Lynden Gooch’s workrate, so he’ll probably continue in the starting line-up (would prefer Clarke or Roberts there personally). With Pritchard ruled out, Embleton will probably come in to take his place, while hopefully Broadhead pulled up well after Saturday and can manage two games in four days.

Charlton Athletic v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Welcome back
Photo by Ivan Yordanov/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Forward: Ross Stewart

He should have scored on Saturday but will continue up front – Defoe is likely back in the squad but I can’t see him threatening Stewart’s position in the team just yet.

Charlton Athletic v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ivan Yordanov/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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