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Score Predictions: What are we expecting when Beale’s Sunderland take on Coventry?

It was a disappointing loss away at Bristol, but how will the lads do today in Mike Beale’s first game in charge?



Predictions League - Latest Result

Sunderland fell to another poor away result last game out, with a disappointing 1-0 loss to Bristol City.

In previous seasons our away form has really helped our league points tally, but with no wins on the road since Sheff Weds at the end of September, this season our away form is already something we need to improve.

Though we had almost 70% possession in Bristol, more than three times as many shots as them (and nine versus three shots on target, in our favour) plus eleven corners to their five, we simply couldn't get a goal.

Their keeper had a blinder for a couple of the chances, but we weren’t clinical enough. At our end after two games where we looked really solid, we gave away a very avoidable penalty…to be fair, it is the first time in Mike Dodds’ short stint as caretaker head coach we have struggled this way, as our performances against the Baggies and Leeds were cracking.

The quandary of why we can play great against strong Championship teams but often are not as successful against teams in the lower half of the league continues.

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

Today, we take on Coventry City at home, and we have our new head coach in the dugout for the first time.

While the appointment of Michael Beale as SAFC head coach for the coming 30 months has had a mixed reception across the fan base at best (if you judge fan reaction by social media it's probably worse than that, but I don’t), most fans would agree if he does his talking on the pitch with good results in games like this one, he will give himself the best chance of getting the fans on his side and singing his name very soon.

Coventry City is often a hard game for us to win, hence if we play well and get a win, Beale will start to win the majority of fans over, just as Tony Mowbray and other decent coaches did before him.

The predictions lads were all confident of a positive result in Bristol, not surprisingly given the form of the two teams ahead of the tie, as can be seen below:

While a good few of the lads came close, no goals and no win means no points for all the Predictions collective.

Jobe and O’Nien both had headers clawed off the line by the Bristol keeper, and Patrick Roberts probably had the best other chance, which he curled just wide with his left foot in the first half, with only the keeper to beat, albeit from an angle.

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

No change of points in our little Predictions table as a result - Martin is our Christmas number one whatever happens. Second place is up for grabs across these couple of games either side of Santa coming, with Jack and Malc fighting hard for the slot.

Will, Matty and Bomber will be hoping to close the gap to Martin and the others while scoffing mince pies and turkey too.

League Table


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: Sunderland 2 Coventry 1

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Jobe

Jobe should have scored against Bristol, and did really well in the two games before that, so I am backing him to get us the lead.

Coventry managed to get a draw away at Leeds last game out, getting a goal back after Leeds took the lead in the second half despite Coventry sitting back and only having 35% of possession, and three shots on target, a stat doubled by Leeds.

Clearly our defence will need to step up to prevent errors like the last game, but I think we will have enough under the new leadership of Michael Beale to nick this 2-1.

Let’s build some momentum for the new year…the prep for the derby cup game starts here.

Sunderland v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship

Matty Foster predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 1 Coventry 1

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Clarke

If Michael Beale wants to make a winning start as Head Coach, he must overcome a side we’ve consistently struggled to beat over the years.

It’s a run of seven consecutive games, and not since February 2007 have we managed all three points.

Coventry have flattered to deceive this season, finding themselves in the bottom half and with only two wins on the road.

I would like to think we can win today, but I never have confidence in this fixture!

I’ll back a score draw, but quietly hope we can sneak the win.

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

Bomber Davies predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 2 Coventry 1

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Clarke

And so it is Michael Beale’s turn to lead this batshit crazy club that we all love and adore.

In all honesty, these sort of games are the toughest to predict (as if my predictions were generally any good anyway!) as there will be so many unknowns as to what his starting 11 will be, what the formation will be and what his instructions will be.

Even trying to predict this match based on form is the equivalent of rolling a dice as we’ve beaten Leeds and West Brom, while losing to Plymouth and Huddersfield.

Coventry themselves have picked up some decent results recently with a point against Leeds and Southampton, respectively.

Again, I’m going to be the optimist however and play the “new manager bounce” and “home advantage” cards to back us for a tight, 2-1 win, with our boy Jack providing the goods!

Sunderland Unveil New Head Coach Michael Beale Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Martin Wanless predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 2 Coventry 1

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Rusyn

Well, here we go again.

The next new head coach has a crack and it’ll be interesting to see what he does regarding team selection. In truth, I doubt much will change, however we will hopefully see a striker given a chance – and that could well be Rusyn, who took his goal really well in the reserve game against Arsenal earlier this week, so I’m going for him to net first.

This is a more ‘heart’ prediction than ‘head’, but for Beale’s sake I hope he gets off to a good start. Regardless of what we think of the appointment, he’s here, and I’m sure we’ll all be delighted if he succeeds.

Sunderland v Birmingham City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Robert Smith/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Will Jones predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 2 Coventry 1

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Jobe

Mick Beale will not have an easy start to his time on Wearside, but I expect a pretty Doddsy - esque game to begin his tenure here.

We need a win here, and keeping quiet the front line and wing backs of Coventry may prove difficult.

I believe we have the ability to bounce back from a loss where, once again, we failed to take an abundance of chances, and reap the rewards of the chances we can create.

Sunderland v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Jack Howe-Gingell predicts...

Score Prediction: Sunderland 3 Coventry 1

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Clarke

The Michael Beale era is upon us! Whatever you think of the appointment, we need to get behind him and the lads and bounce back from our wimpy display against Bristol City.

I’m interested to see if Beale makes any major changes to the side, or is still in the consideration phase.

One thing that is for certain is that we must start becoming more ruthless in front of goal or at least find a way to score when we seem to be drawing a blank.

I’m hoping for a good display against much weakened Coventry side compared to them one we played last season.

Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion - Sky Bet Championship
Will Beale gamble on someone like Mayenda?
Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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