Preston North End (H), 01/10/22
Preston have had a bizarre start to the season. Solid at the back but almost incompetent in attack, the most goals they have had in a game in the league is two.
One to Watch: Freddie Woodman
The former Newcastle shot-stopper has been in inspired form this season, keeping seven clean sheets in the first eight games of the season and consistently showcasing his skill between the sticks. With Ross Stewart out and Ellis Simms possibly side-lined as well, our attack will have to be on top form to beat Woodman.
Blackpool (H), 04/10/22
Like their Lancashire rivals, Blackpool have also had an inconsistent start to the season, sitting in 19th after the opening 10 having picked up 11 points. New boss Michael Appleton has yet to instill his philosophy on his side who will be looking to have a better October than September.
One to Watch: Charlie Patino
Already a fan favourite by the Northwest coast, Patino has returned the love by producing some excellent performances in a tangerine shirt. Playing without fear, the 18-year-old Arsenal loanee is showing why he is so highly regarded in North London.
Don’t forget, as well, he already has the taste for scoring against Sunderland – he scored against us in the Carabao Cup last season!
Swansea City (A), 08/10/22
Yet another inconsistent team, Russell Martin’s Swansea side possess all the qualities needed to be a top side in this division. A mix of conceding late, defensive errors and strikers misfiring means they sit in mid-table after the opening ten.
One to Watch: Joel Piroe
Top goalscorer last season with 22, the Dutchman is yet to match the same form this campaign.
He has the same build as any striker that has caused Sunderland problems over the last few years – tall, strong and quick. He has the technical ability to match as well and has represented the Netherlands at every youth level.
Wigan Athletic (H), 15/10/22
Much like Rotherham, Wigan will know all about Sunderland having played them three times in all competitions last season. Leam Richardson has got the Tics playing the way they’d like and they sit in a very steady 12th position, having played a game less. With a plethora of ex-Sunderland players who will be more than up for the challenge at the SOL, it could turn out to be a difficult game in the middle of October.
One to Watch: Thelo Aasgaard
Thelo Aasgaard has recently come into the team and is proving his worth on the wing, and even scored the winner in their win against Luton last month. He is a dangerous player and will cause problems for our defence who will have to be focused to stop him from creating and scoring opportunities.
Of course, I could have picked Max Power, James McClean, Nathan Broadhead or Charlie Wyke here but for the sake of rambling on about a player you have all already heard of, I’ve gone for someone a little more out of the box.