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Leicester City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship

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Starting XI: Will we see any changes to Tony Mowbray’s Sunderland team today?

Although we didn’t pick up any points at Leicester, it was a much-improved display. So will that affect the line-up today?

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

I thought we played well on Tuesday night at Leicester, although having said that the scoreline really could have been anything. We could easily have come away with a draw, could have sneaked a win, or could have been on the end of a 4 goal defeat, so I’m not sure what to read into it in all honesty.

Still, it should have given the lads a bit of confidence they can compete with the best in the league (Leicester will end up being the best the Championship’s ever seen I reckon) and that will be important as we take on a Norwich side that’s struggling a bit.

It’s a big game today as we really need to get three points after three defeats in a row, and Mowbray’s got some big decisions to make – the biggest of which surrounds Mason Burstow, who’s struggling to show much at all upfront. With Rusyn, Hemir and now Mayenda knocking on the door, will the head coach be tempted into any changes?

Here’s how I think we’ll start today’s game.

Goalkeeper: Anthony Patterson

Patterson probably had his best game for Sunderland on Tuesday night – although I’d prefer he didn’t have as much to do today as he did against Leicester.

Leicester City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

Defenders: Trai Hume, Dan Ballard, Luke O’Nien, Niall Huggins

Dan Ballard was brilliant again on Tuesday, and really pushed through after struggling with injuries since international duty. Hopefully he’ll be fit enough to start today in what will likely be an unchanged defence. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cirkin get another 20-30 minutes as he regains his fitness, but it’ll be too early for him to start.

Leicester City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

Midfield: Dan Neil, Pierre Ekwah

Dan Neil was excellent at Leicester, and reinforced just how important he is to the team. He really is developing into a top player, and is vital to how we play. Alongside him should be Pierre Ekwah, who was pretty quiet on Tuesday as he works his way back to fitness, but showed his quality on the ball.

Sunderland vs Middlesbrough Sky Bet Championship Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Attack: Patrick Roberts, Jobe Bellingham, Jack Clarke

I thought Roberts probably had his best game of the season at Leicester, and it’s no surprise that game when he was out wide. We really need to maximise our attacking threats, as I feel these three offer our best chance of goals – although Roberts is yet to score or assist yet this season. Bellingham and Clarke will surely start.

Leicester City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by James Holyoak/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Striker: Mason Burstow

I don’t want to appear overly critical of Burstow, as he’s a young lad and clearly trying, but he’s struggling. Hemir and Rusyn must be wondering what they have to do to get a start and, now Mayenda’s fit, he’s another who’s queuing up for a chance. One of them will get it sooner or later, but I don’t think it’ll be today. Hopefully Burstow has a stormer and bags a goal or two!

Leicester City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images


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