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Sunderland v Blackburn Rovers - Sky Bet Championship

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Starting XI: We’re predicting three changes for Sunderland against West Brom today.

Well, that was some week. Will the caretaker be tempted to make changes?

Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Mike Dodds is back in charge of the team today, and we’ll see what his thoughts are about team selection come 11.30am. I don’t expect much to change, to be perfectly honest. For one, our options in some areas of the field – centre mid to be precise – are pretty limited, while the biggest question for me is who will be the lucky winner in this week’s centre forward lottery?

Goalkeeper: Anthony Patterson

Patterson made some good saves last week at Millwall to keep the Lions out, and will be back in goal today.

Millwall v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Dylan Hepworth/MB Media/Getty Images

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

I don’t foresee any changes here, either. Whether Hume will go right and Huggins left, or vice versa, is anyone’s guess. I actually think he offers more threat on the right, but if we can get our fullbacks overlapping rather than coming inside, Huggins is better on his left than Hume is. In the middle, it’ll be O’Nien and Ballard, although I do think Seelt will begin pushing O’Nien a bit more for his starting spot over the coming weeks.

Midfield: Dan Neil, Pierre Ekwah, Jobe Bellingham

Ekwah came back in last week and did OK, as Bellingham was rested. I expect Bellingham to be back in the team today, playing alongside Dan Neil with Ekwah sat behind. Dodds has a strong relationship with Jobe, so it’d not be a surprise to see him start in place of Aouchiche, who has started the last two and hasn’t done too much to impress.

Millwall v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Dylan Hepworth/MB Media/Getty Images

Attack: Patrick Roberts, Naz Rusyn, Jack Clarke

Roberts will be back in the team ahead of Ba I would think – he looked back on form in his sub appearance last week, while if Clarke’s fit, he starts. In the centre, I’m hoping Rusyn is fit again after injury. If not, it’ll surely be Mayenda, but fingers crossed Rusyn is back.

Sunderland vs Huddersfield Town Sky Bet Championship Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images


Pause for thought


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