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Score Predictions: Can Sunderland get back to winning ways against Stoke today?

Following three successive losses, Michael Beale and the Lads are in need of a positive result today. Our writers give their score predictions ahead of the clash with the Potters

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Predictions league latest result

Sunderland lost last time out during a scrappy and scruffy home game against Hull.

Although we enjoyed the majority of possession, shots and corners, the Tigers managed to nab a win via a deflected shot from Fabio Carvalho around twenty minutes from time.

Given how they were set up, it felt as though they were always playing for an away point, but they managed to avenge the Boxing Day game when we did the same to them.

Sunderland v Hull City - Sky Bet Championship - Stadium of Light Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

The game itself was a pretty dour affair, with both teams cancelling each other out in the main, and many Lads fans wondering what our game plan actually was.

A lack of width was glaring, with no wide attacking player on the right side, meaning when Jack Clarke did get the ball down the left, he sometimes had three or four Hull players for company.

Sadly, despite the statistics being on our side and Clarke keeping the defenders busy, we played fairly average football, couldn’t capitalise in other areas, and our ongoing lack of any cutting edge meant we came away with nothing.

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

Today’s opponents are now led by ex-Plymouth boss Steven Schumacher who, much like Michael Beale, has experienced mixed results since taking over.

Stoke have come away with two wins, two draws and a loss in their last five games, (excluding the FA Cup loss to Brighton) which is exactly the same return we’ve had across the same fixtures.

However, I get a feeling that the pressure on Beale is greater than it is on Schumacher, as the negative changes in both performance and playing style have been hard to ignore since the former Rangers gaffer took the helm.

The lads were all quite optimistic last weekend, with only Bomber going for a draw and everyone else predicting a win, and it’ll be interesting to see how this sense of optimism starts to change with the performances in a bit of a rut of late.

One would hope that after a second full week to prepare for a game, we can come out with a better game plan, some decent options in both open play and set pieces, and secure a win to put the team back on course and in touch with the top six.

With everyone missing the net last time, there’s no change to the Predictions league table as we face the Potters this afternoon.

League table

Hopefully Beale has some big ideas for us, and the Lads can do something to prevent further degradation of form, fan opinion and spirit.

Sunderland v Hull City - Sky Bet Championship - Stadium of Light Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

How the points are awarded

Just a quick reminder of how we allocate points to our match-by-match predictions:

  • Correct score = 3 points
  • Correct outcome (but not correct score) = 1 point
  • Correct first Sunderland goalscorer = 1 point (no goal scorer is a valid call)
  • Possible deductions for being lazy and not submitting on time = 2 point deduction

Malc Dugdale predicts...

Score prediction: Sunderland 1 Stoke City 0

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Jobe

We need a win to break the current cycle and to prevent more criticism being directed towards Beale. The guy has barely memorised his route to the ground and is already under a lot of pressure from sections of the fan base.

Jobe should’ve scored more goals this season. He’s had chances in recent games, and if we’re not going to drop him, there needs to be more in the way of end product.

I’m backing him to nick the only goal in a game we’ll narrowly win, which may give Beale some breathing space before our trip to Teesside next weekend.

Sunderland v Hull City - Sky Bet Championship - Stadium of Light Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

Matty Foster predicts...

Score prediction: Sunderland 1 Stoke City 0

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Nazariy Rusyn

Steven Schumacher has had a slow but steady start to life at Stoke. In his six games to date, they’ve only lost once, but three of those have ended in stalemates.

In the same time frame, Michael Beale has managed to also win twice, but already has three defeats to his name.

Should we be at ‘panic stations’? You can look at it both ways, but Beale needs to pull something out of the hat or the vitriol already being sent his way will intensify.

A win here would keep us on the coattails of those above us and out of sheer desperation for us not lose further ground, I’m backing the Lads to sneak through today.

Ipswich Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship - Portman Road Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images

Bomber Davies predicts...

Score prediction: Sunderland 1 Stoke City 0

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Jack Clarke

It’s been very difficult to try and write predictions for the last few games and Stoke is no different, because it feels as if there’s no outcome that’ll relieve the fans of either their apathy or anger towards the club and the head coach.

Our struggles in front of goal and efforts to create attacking chances have been in progressive decline for twelve months, exacerbated by Michael Beale’s focus on defensive stability and containment.

I do feel like that’s improved over the last few weeks and you can’t account for individual errors or unforeseen reflections when analysing how we are in our own third.

With that, I do think we’ll keep Stoke out today but I fear it would be more of the same slow build up play and lack of cutting edge when it comes to the final third that we’ve seen in recent weeks.

I predict more of what we’ve seen in the past couple of games, but with a Jack Clarke penalty to save the day.

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

Martin Wanless predicts...

Score prediction: Sunderland 1 Stoke City 1

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Nazariy Rusyn

I’m not looking forward to this game at all, but hopefully that’s a sign of a convincing Sunderland win!

Stoke’s new boss has got off to a good start, one that’s only been dented by our former boss last weekend, and this will be a very tough game.

I’m not confident about us doing anything to be honest, but I’ll go for a point with Nazariy Rusyn getting a goal, if any of our players can figure out how to pass to him, that is.

Sunderland v Hull City - Sky Bet Championship - Stadium of Light Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

Will Jones predicts...

Score prediction: Sunderland 1 Stoke City 2

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Dan Ballard

The mood is slowly changing with these predictions, as it is with the fan base as a whole: from excitement, to worry, to just plain disheartenment.

I think we’ll have to drop further before we rise again, and no real changes to the squad means another game of Jobe being shoehorned in, strikers not being used properly and teams doubling up on our only attacking outlet in Jack Clarke.

I think my general concern isn’t with the fact that we could lose this game, but how the season is slowly petering out at this early stage, and will need salvaging.

Let’s hope I’m absolutely incorrect, shall we?

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

Jack Howe-Gingell predicts...

Score prediction: Sunderland 2 Stoke City 1

Sunderland’s first goalscorer: Jack Clarke

I’m just hoping for better than the dross that’s been served up recently.

Our ‘chances created’ metric has dropped off a cliff, and we’re becoming increasingly dull to watch. Results definitely come first but when you’re losing like that, it sticks in your throat.

We need to be more ambitious and actually play people in the right positions.

I won’t be in attendance as I’ll be celebrating my best mate’s upcoming wedding at his stag do all weekend, and it sadly comes as a welcome relief. It’s worth noting that we usually win when I don’t go, so here’s hoping!

Ipswich Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

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