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Sunderland Unveil New Head Coach Tony Mowbray

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Roker Report Score Predictions 2022-23: Game 7 - Sunderland v Rotherham

Tony Mowbray takes the dugout for his first game, against our fellow ex-League One opponents, Rotherham United. Can Sunderland start Tony’s reign with a win? Here’s what our panel thinks.

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Last time around - Norwich City at home

While Sunderland showed, once again, that they are more than capable of competing at this level, and even against the teams who are newly relegated to the Championship after failing to maintain Premier League status, the lads came away empty-handed last Saturday afternoon.

We worked our socks off, hit the woodwork twice and had numerous chances blocked and scrambled clear, but it wasn't our day, despite showing our ex-coach how much we can play well without him. Norwich, to be fair, converted a very well-worked move, with a simple finish by Sargent that gave Patterson no chance.

They showed their quality and experience by holding onto that one-goal lead, with the strength from the bench being the main factor for many. We showed once again we can trouble anyone in this division and arguably could have taken all three points on a day with better luck on our side.

Birmingham City v Norwich City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Our predictions crew were, shall we say, a little over-optimistic for the visit of the Canaries, but who could blame them as we are genuinely playing well, most games. This optimism has resulted in the first “no points” return for the table this season, though.

Should we add a few players this week and find a way to fight out that last 15 mins when legs and lungs are getting low on reserves, we will certainly do OK this season.

No change in the Predictions league table for us, though hopefully, the lads can get some points tonight and climb back up the Championship ladder ready for another stern test this weekend against Tony Mowbray’s old lot, the Boro.


Predictions League Table

The top of the table remains a three-way tie, with Malc in fourth. There is absolutely no reason why we should not get something from the Rotherham game, but like us they have started well, so once again, this is a very hard game to call the result on.


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: Sunderland 1-0 Rotherham Utd

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Alex Pritchard

If this comes down to a scrap and the ref isn't strong, we may lose again. Rotherham will battle and scrap and bomb our box with crosses and long balls, so we need to defend well to keep a clean sheet. I do think we are battling well this season, but I hope our better football is the difference tonight.

Our defence was excellent against Norwich and was only undone by movement and passing of the level I don't think Rotherham can demonstrate. I am backing our one remaining (and loyal) Alex to put one in the top bins from one of the many free kicks we are way overdue. Hopefully, the lads can hold out in what will be a tough encounter. That is my expectation of the evening’s fare, but hopefully, our extra “grit” and footballing quality this season will shade it.

Sunderland Unveil New Head Coach Tony Mowbray Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Matty Foster predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 2-1 Rotherham Utd

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Ellis Simms

As Alex Neil fills up his money bags at the Bet365 Stadium, we prepare ourselves for a tricky home tie against Rotherham. Tony Mowbray will lead our lads out tonight, for his first tie leading the team.

Tonight’s visitors are one of only two sides in the Championship without a loss to their name, having won two and drawn three of their five games so far.

They have been tipped the most likely to fall back into League One but have done themselves no harm with a strong start so far.

Ogbene appears to be their biggest threat with three goals so far, but three of their other five have come from 37-year-old defender Richard Wood.

I expect a tough game, given Rotherham’s strong back line, but can see Sunderland breaching it twice with the SAS strike force.

Sunderland v Norwich City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Bomber Davies predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 2-1 Rotherham Utd

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Jack Clarke

Rotherham haven’t lost in the league this season, but equally, they haven’t won away from home this season, either.

Two wins, three draws and one postponement (Coventry).

It’s a second home game in quick succession following the shock departure of Alex Neil… and if the weekend’s fixture vs Norwich was anything to go by, there will be another almost 40,000 home fans screaming the lads on who, if we are being honest, seem rather unfazed by Neil’s departure.

Another one I back our fans to make a difference in, although the smart bet would suggest a draw as we’ve drawn both our home games and Rotherham have drawn both their away!

Something’s gotta give, and at the SoL - it won’t be us.

Sunderland Unveil New Head Coach Tony Mowbray Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Martin Wanless predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 1-0 Rotherham Utd

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Ellis Simms

Now Tony Mowbray’s been appointed, this is an even more important game at the SoL. With the transfer window closing we need some certainty – and I welcome that, if still being unsure in other ways. I’m not sure how I feel about Mowbray, he’s another ‘meh’ appointment for me, uninspiring and predictable, but I felt the same about Alex Neil and look how that worked out.

Hopefully, with Tony in the dugout, he’ll be able to get the lads up for a game that is a massive one in terms of getting points on the board. Rotherham are horrible to play against, difficult to beat, but I’m hoping we’ll scrape a 1-0 here; Ellis Simms, who looked knackered in the second half on Saturday, with our only goal.

Sunderland Unveil New Head Coach Tony Mowbray Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Will Jones predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 3-1 Rotherham Utd

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Ross Stewart

Doing this immediately after the announcement of the new gaffer may seem stupid, but I feel it may help me stop overthinking it.

There has not been a single game this season where I haven’t been proud of the graft put into the game by the lads, and even though Rotherham are still unbeaten so far this season, I am fully of the belief we can end said run.

With no transfers on the immediate horizon and with Diamond off on loan, Jewison may be in line for a run on the bench, which, albeit exciting, is not a trusted source for winning or staying in a game.

This prediction is solely on the fact the lads have played so well this season and having done everything but score last weekend, the goals will come soon, and I predict they will here.

Sunderland Unveil New Head Coach Tony Mowbray Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Jack Howe-Gingell predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 3-0 Rotherham Utd

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Ross Stewart

I’m feeling overly optimistic this week after a frankly bizarre weekend.

On another day, we’d have taken three points from the Norwich game, with their immense strength in depth proving the difference. I’m proud of how the players reacted, and clearly there is little love lost upon the departure of the baldy berk.

Rotherham have started better than I’d have thought on their return to The Championship, though I do feel their run has been easier than ours.

If we play as we have been, I’d expect a comfortable win. Hopefully, Tony Mowbray’s presence on the bench will galvanise us to a win.

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