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Sunderland v Luton Town: Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final First Leg

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Starting XI: Is this the lineup that will start against ‘the other’ SAFC?

The lads take on San Antonio FC in the first game of our North American tour – who’ll get a run-out today?

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

Sunderland take on San Antonio FC in the early hours of Sunday morning in the first game of our three-match American tour. After last week’s goal-filled doubleheader, who’ll be lining up for the lads?

Goalkeeper: Anthony Patterson

With Alex Bass joining Wimbledon in midweek, Patterson’s competition on this trip comes in the form of 16-year-old Matthew Young. Young may well get a run out, but I expect Patterson to keep goal today.

Sunderland v Luton Town: Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final First Leg Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Defenders: Trai Hume, Nectarios Triantis, Danny Batth, Dennis Cirkin

New signing Triantis missed out last week as he’d been playing internationals, while Danny Batth missed out through a knock. Batth’s been linked with Blackburn – personally, I think letting him go would be ridiculous – but I expect him to get a run out today. At left back, Dennis Cirkin could start, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Niall Huggins getting 45 minutes there. too.

Sunderland Unveil New Signing Nectarious Triantis... Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Midfield: Pierre Ekwah, Dan Neil

There’s a load of competition in midfield, with Bellingham, Matete and Rigg vying for places too, but I expect Ekwah and Dan Neil to start today’s game.

Gateshead v Sunderland Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Attacking midfield: Patrick Roberts, Abdoullah Ba, Jack Clarke

This is an area of the pitch we’ve got a few options too – Tony Mowbray pondered yesterday about Bellingham playing the number 10 role, while Pritchard and Bennette also have a shot as does Issac Lihadji, who is with the squad in the US, but is reportedly set for a middle east move. That’s certainly one to watch, but I think we’ll go in with Roberts, Ba and Clarke today.

Gateshead v Sunderland Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Striker: Hemir

Well, he’s our only fit striker, so he’ll surely play. It was good to see him get off the mark last week, but we need at least one if not two more strikers in – and soon.

South Shields v Sunderland Pe-Season Friendly Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

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