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Stoke City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship

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Score Predictions: Is it a foregone conclusion that we’ll lose, or can we spring a surprise?

Sunderland were a combination of below their own high tactical and playing standards, and unlucky with officials (again) at the weekend. Is there any chance we can get something from the King Power?

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Predictions League - Latest Result

Sadly we have to open with some reflection on another loss for the Lads at the weekend, this time away at Stoke.

Despite the differences in the league positions between the two clubs ahead of the game, the tactics used by Alex Neil compared to Tony Mowbray combined with the players we had available/not and how well they applied themselves led to a narrow 2-1 away loss.

Stoke City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Jess Hornby/Getty Images

The fact that the first Stoke goal was allowed when widely expected to be ruled out by either the Ref or one of the assistants is becoming a repeat theme - we have some very iffy officials at this level, just like League One.

Hopefully we will benefit from a few iffy decisions going in our direction across the season to balance it all out. You have to hope so.

This is how the RR lads called it ahead of the game:

Predictions League - Table

The only lads getting anything from that away game are Matty, Jack and Martin, who all predicted that the fantastic creation of space and shot from Jobe would be parried into the path of Clarke, for probably the simplest goal he will score this season.

This helps both Jack and Matty solidify their positions, and gives Martin a whopping 4 point lead on the chasing pack. He has double the points of Malc, whose shoulders are growing broader every game after the effort he is putting in to hold the lads and the table up.

No change in the table in terms of positions, and given the form Leicester are in, this could be a very tricky one to get anything from both for the Predictions lads and for SAFC.

Stoke City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

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 = 2 point deduction

Malc Dugdale predicts...

Score Prediction: Leicester 0 Sunderland 1

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Ballard

Not too long ago we were well known for not letting a lot of goals in. We then shipped six in two games, though the Boro goals were mainly down to a poor reffing decision leaving us a man down, and one of the Stoke goals should have been ruled out for hand ball too.

The only way we will get anything from this mammoth task will be to play our game our way. Teams rarely take it to Leicester, so we need to.

We need to be on it, at it, and show all the passion and intensity that was missing in the Black Country. Crisp passing and movement, better tactics and way more cohesion.

If we do all that we have a chance, and if we get a goal in my view it may well be from a set piece as Leicester’s defence will be hard to weave our way through.

Our man Ballard is getting better and better in the air for corners and free kicks, so I’m going for big Dan to nut a whipped corner into the top bin late on, and we hold on for a 0-1 away win.

If he doesn’t score and we get a goal less draw, I’d take that. We need to shore up the back as much as sharpening up top.

No other result would be as “Sunderland”, so let’s have a 1-0 away “W”.

Sunderland v Swansea City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Matty Foster predicts...

Score Prediction: Leicester 2 Sunderland 1

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Clarke

The side you really don’t want to be facing after two defeats? Yep, that’s right, the side sitting top of the table with one loss in twelve.

Lucky us. Leicester look very much champions-elect, even so early on. Most goals scored, least conceded, they look on fire. This is probably a game we’d go and win, but honestly, I don’t see it.

We seemed so subpar against Stoke, and the way Leicester have been playing, I can’t see anything other than a home win.

I think we’ll make a good go of it, but ultimately, come off on the wrong end of the result.

Sunderland vs Middlesbrough Sky Bet Championship
Will Naz get more minutes tonight? Surely one striker will get on?
Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Bomber Davies predicts...

Score Prediction: Leicester 1 Sunderland 1

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: O’Nien

Because I am unlike the other naysayers here I think we see some of the best from this Sunderland side when we are thought of as the underdogs and have little expectation.

Leicester will be an incredibly tough game and are pretty much blowing everyone away. But if Hull can go there and beat them, and Bristol City can be a penalty decision away from a result, there is no reason we can’t.

And it’ll be everyone’s favourite footballer Luke O’Nien putting his body on the line to get on the end of a set piece to equalise late on. Watch this space

Sunderland v Middlesbrough - Sky Bet Championship
Luke saying his prayers for a decent ref…
Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Martin Wanless predicts...

Score Prediction: Leicester 3 Sunderland 0

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: No SAFC scorer

I thought we were pretty awful at Stoke – and even so, we should have won.

I don’t see us getting anything tonight unfortunately. Leicester are on another level, and we aren’t clicking right now.

I hope I’m wrong – Hull beat them at Leicester earlier in the season, but I’m not hopeful at all tonight.

Leicester City v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship
Wink and you’ll miss him
Photo by James Holyoak/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Will Jones predicts...

Score Prediction: Leicester 1 Sunderland 1

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Clarke

After another dismal performance, the lads need to pick it up before we start plummeting down the table.

We are massive underdogs at the King Power, but that may not be the worst thing. Most teams go there and don’t play football, they sit back and look to frustrate the table toppers.

I don’t think that we will do that, we will get in their face, press high on their defenders and not give up.

I believe we will get something from this game, and will deservedly do so.

Stoke City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Jess Hornby/Getty Images

Jack Howe-Gingell predicts...

Score Prediction: Leicester 1 Sunderland 2

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Clarke

Our inconsistency is flourishing again after another disappointing result. What I still find frustrating is that even with a pretty poor showing, we could have still won the match. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not, but we don’t have much time to ponder against the league leaders.

11 wins and 1 loss, the best ever start to a Championship campaign, top scorers and least conceded, and a team littered with Premier League standard players still. It’ll be a stern test, there’s no doubts about that.

It feels like something so thoroughly Sunderland that a run of poor results will be ended in the most unlikely way possible. Likely just blind optimism from a blind optimist, but hopefully we can give it a real go and maybe we’ll steal something.

Stoke City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship
Tony will have his prayers going again tonight…
Photo by Jess Hornby/Getty Images


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