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.
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.
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.
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.
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.