Phil Parkinson didn’t get off to the start he would have hoped for in his first game in charge of Sunderland, as his side were beaten 1-0 by Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park.
Darius Charles’ goal proved to be the difference between the two teams, which saw Sunderland lose further ground on the promotion-chasing sides in League One.
They’re now sat tenth in the table, and will be hoping to turn their poor run of form around at the earliest of opportunities, to get their promotion bid back on track this season.
The Black Cats host Tranmere Rovers at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday evening, as they go in search of an all-important three points.
But how can we expect Parkinson’s side to lineup against the newly=promoted team?
Find out below….
Lee Burge is likely to retain his place between the sticks ahead of Jon McLaughlin for Sunderland, and he’ll be keen to put in a strong performance to strengthen his spot as first-choice goalkeeper under Parkinson’s guidance.
It’s unlikely that we’ll see many changes in defence to the team that were beaten by Wycombe on Saturday, with Joel Lynch and Jordan Willis putting an impressive showing despite the defeat at Adams Park.
Conor McLaughlin and Denver Hume offer width in the wide areas going forward, and are likely to retain their spot in the starting XI.
Parkinson will be hoping to find his strongest XI, so we could see alterations made in midfield, especially as he looks to keep his squad as fresh as possible ahead of a busy week.
Duncan Watmore was substituted after 62 minutes in the defeat to Wycombe, which could hint that the winger could start again on Tuesday.
He could be supported on the other wing by Lynden Gooch, who is likely to replace Aiden McGeady, who is suspended for this game after the Irishman picked up his fifth booking of the season.
With rotation in the squad likely, George Dobson could be in line to make his sixth league start of the season, with Grant Leadbitter unlikely to be starting week in, week out for the Black Cats at the age of 33.
Phil Parkinson will be forced into one change, with the newly-appointed boss revealing that Charlie Wyke is set for a spell in the treatment room with an ankle ligament injury that the striker picked up midway through the defeat to Wycombe on Saturday.
Will Grigg replaced the former Bradford striker on the day, and it seems likely that the Northern Irishman will be given the nod ahead of reading loanee Marc McNulty in the starting XI.
It certainly won’t be an easy game for Parkinson’s men, but they’ll know that they have to be winning games soon, otherwise they’ll have a tough job to be challenging for a timely return back into the Championship this season.