clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Sunderland v Coventry City - Sky Bet Championship

Filed under:

Starting XI: Three changes predicted for Sunderland’s trip to Hull City

Saturday couldn’t have gone any worse for Michael Beale. We need to rectify things today.

Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Saturday was disastrous; let’s not wallpaper over that. We played poorly defensively and from an attacking perspective and gave away three really soft goals. And, the injury to Huggins, who was possibly our best player on the day, compounded a miserable afternoon.

The performance the lads turned in – and, more worryingly, the display after going two down – gives Beale a free hit in terms of team selection. So, what changes will he make today?

Here’s how we could line up.

Goalkeeper: Anthony Patterson

Patterson has been poor recently, and his form needs to pick up. I mentioned the other day I’d like to see competition arrive and Saturday’s third goal demonstrated just why. He needs a good display today.

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

Defenders: Luke O’Nien, Jenson Seelt, Dan Ballard, Trai Hume

Niall Huggins’ injury was devastating and rounded off a really crap afternoon. If Huggins had been fit, I think O’Nien could have found himself on the bench today, however I think Seelt for Huggins will be the only change in defence. Hopefully, Beale doesn’t play Seelt at right back – he’s not the answer there, and similarly to playing Ba up front, we’re not setting them up to succeed by playing out of position. Hopefully, we’ll play O’Nien at full back and go with Seelt and Ballard in the centre – I reckon that’s our long-term centre back pairing anyway – but either way I expect it to be more of a back three when defending anyway.

Sunderland v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship - Stadium of Light Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images

Midfield: Dan Neil, Jobe Bellingham

Ekwah was poor on Saturday – as was Jobe after a good opening quarter. But I reckon it could be Pierre who sits out today and Bellingham could partner Neil in the centre of the midfield.

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

Attack: Patrick Roberts, Adil Aouchiche, Jack Clarke

We’ve got to make changes in attack – if Pritchard is fit again he could come in, but failing that I think Aouchiche could play behind centrally. Roberts and Clarke should play out wide, but both need good displays and by that, I mean productive. Neither have contributed much in terms of goals and assists recently, and we need them to.

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

Striker: Naz Rusyn

I was stunned Beale didn’t play with a striker on Saturday. He’s simply got to. Hopefully, Rusyn will get the nod as I think he’s our best long-term bet, but if it’s Mayenda, Burstow or Hemir, that’s fine by me, as long as it’s one of them.

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


Match Report: Toothless Sunderland Lose 2-1 to 17th Place Swansea


On This Day (25th February 1961): Goodchild’s sweet goodbye against Leeds United


Matchday Musings: Swansea City spoil the party at Sunderland

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Roker Report Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Sunderland news from Roker Report