Sunderland are gearing up for their biggest match in several years as they take on Lincoln City this weekend.
The Black Cats go into the play-off semi-final second leg with plenty of work to do after falling to a 2-0 defeat against the Imps at Sincil Bank on Wednesday evening.
In truth, Lee Johnson’s side were second best on the night and the focus for this game will be on ensuring that the team don’t just put in an improved display, but that they play on the front foot as they look to make up a two-goal deficit.
Sunderland have plenty of attacking talent in their squad and Johnson could benefit from looking to the fringes to bring in players who could really take the game to Michael Appleton’s side.
So who should be considered for a spot in the starting XI? Here are three options to consider.
The young winger was unfortunate not to start against Lincoln City.
Diamond has played 31 times for Sunderland this term and is arguably their quickest and most direct option on the wing.
If the 21-year-old was included then he would certainly pose a lot of problems for the Imps’ full-backs and could use his pace and trickery to really cause some panic.
Quiz: Did these 18 players make more than 100 Sunderland appearances?
A player who many would love to see start.
Chris Maguire has found things really tough under Lee Johnson but the experienced winger is a huge threat in the final third due to his technical ability and his eye for a goal.
Sunderland will need to find the net on multiple occasions and there are few options that offers as big a goal threat as the 32-year-old.
Charlie Wyke looked very isolated and Sincil Bank and so the addition of another striker could really benefit the team.
Ross Stewart is big and powerful but also possesses a real touch of quality on the ball which could make him a real all-round threat in and around the Lincoln City penalty area.
Whether he’ll start is up for debate, but there’s no doubt that supporters can look forward to seeing a lot more of the player on Saturday.