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Sunderland Unveil New Signing Joe Anderson

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Starting XI: West Brom vs Sunderland – will Joe Anderson get his full debut today?

Danny Batth’s injury towards the end of our draw with Huddersfield means we’re without another centre-back. So, who’ll come in to replace him, and will that be the only change to the team?

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Danny Batth’s injury is a big blow – the centre-back has been in imperious form this season and his absence is a bit of a hammer blow. While the club’s been rightly criticised for failing to bring in enough up front in both transfer windows, having three centre-backs out for the season is just bad luck. Tony Mowbray revealed in his press conference that Edouard Michut is back in training, but Joe Gelhardt is playing with an ankle injury, so I suspect we could see something along the lines of the team that played at Cardiff on Easter Monday.

Goalkeeper: Anthony Patterson

Same again in goal today! Patto will be looking to add to his 13 clean sheets this lunchtime.

Sunderland v Huddersfield Town - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Defence: Trai Hume, Luke O’Nien, Dennis Cirkin

I think we’ll go with a three-man defence of Hume, O’Nien and Cirkin today, after the latter missed out in midweek due to suspension. If we wanted to go more defensive, Joe Anderson could come in, with Cirkin playing wingback (or if we wanted to play a flat back four he could well partner O’Nien), but I suspect we’ll go with this back three – as long as Luke isn’t whisked back to the north east to be present at the birth of his child!

Sunderland v Birmingham City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Midfield: Lynden Gooch, Eduoard Michut, Dan Neil, Jack Clarke

Gooch and Clarke could be deployed as wingbacks - albeit it’s often a little lopsided with Clarke given more attacking freedom than Gooch. In the centre, Dan Neil seems guaranteed his place, and alongside him, I reckon we’ll see Michut back in the side. Part of me thinks we could go for Ekwah for his physicality, but I’ll hedge my bets and go with the Frenchman, who missed out in midweek.

Sunderland v Birmingham City - Sky Bet Championship
Set to return to the starting XI?
Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Attack: Amad, Abdoullah Ba, Alex Pritchard

Amad’s a certainty, but the positions alongside him are up for grabs. Gelhardt had probably his best game in a Sunderland shirt on Tuesday, but his injury means we’re likely to let him sit this one out. Roberts didn’t show much in midweek either, so I think Prichard will retain his place in the XI, albeit in a more advanced role, and Abdoullah Ba will start in attack. He’s been strangely missing over recent weeks, but started the wins at Norwich and Cardiff in that role, and I expect to see him there again today.

Cardiff City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship
Will Abdoullah Ba come back into the team?
Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images


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