Sunderland will be aiming to book their place in the fourth round of the League Cup tomorrow when they head to the DW Stadium to face Wigan Athletic.
The Black Cats set up this particular clash with the Latics by securing an impressive 3-2 victory over Championship side Blackpool last month.
Aiden O’Brien netted a hat-trick for Sunderland at Bloomfield Road in what turned out to be an enthralling affair.
When you consider that the Black Cats’ main priority for the 2021/22 campaign is to secure promotion to the second-tier, it will be intriguing to see whether manager Lee Johnson opts to make some changes to his side on Tuesday.
Here, we take a look at TWO tweaks that the Sunderland boss could make to his starting eleven for the club’s showdown with Wigan.
Alex Pritchard is handed a start
Signed by Sunderland on a free transfer this summer, Alex Pritchard has only started one game for the club in League One so far this season.
The midfielder could be handed the chance to showcase his talent by Johnson if the 40-year-old is willing to make some alterations to his side tomorrow.
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During the two appearances that he has made in the League Cup during the current campaign, Pritchard has managed to provide his team-mates with two assists.
Particularly impressive against Port Vale, the midfielder helped his side clinch a 2-1 victory by recording a WhoScored match rating of 7.06 in this fixture.
If Pritchard is able to deliver an eye-catching performance against Wigan, he could force his way into contention to feature for Sunderland in their upcoming League One clash with Bolton Wanderers.
Leon Dajaku is given the opportunity to impress
Since joining Sunderland last month, Leon Dajaku has been forced to watch on from the sidelines due to a lack of fitness.
However, when you consider that the forward was included in the club’s match-day squad for last Saturday’s draw with Fleetwood Town, he may potentially be in line to make his debut for the Black Cats.
Johnson could decide to rest Ross Stewart for Tuesday’s meeting with Wigan and play Dajaku up-front.
Alternatively, the 20-year-old could be utilised as a winger as he has illustrated during his career that he is more than capable of operating in this particular role.
If Dajaku is able to hit the ground running at the Stadium of Light, he could play a key role in helping his side launch a push for promotion in the coming months.