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Alves starts: The predicted Sunderland XI to face Blackpool tonight



Sunderland will be looking to secure their place in the third round of this season’s League Cup on Tuesday night, when they travel to Bloomfield Road to face Blackpool.

After beating Port Vale 2-1 in the opening round of the competition, the Black Cats go into the game having also claimed three wins from their four league games so far this season, as they target promotion from League One.

But what sort of a side could manager Lee Johnson name this evening, to give Sunderland the best chance of progressing?

Here, we’ve taken a look at who we think could start for Sunderland as they look for victory against the Seasiders.

With Lee Burge having been forced out of the warm-up ahead of Sunderland’s win over AFC Wimbledon on Saturday afternoon, 21-year-old Anthony Patterson should continue between the posts tonight.

In defence, Johnson has already confirmed that Bailey Wright will partner West Ham loanee Frederik Alves at centre back, marking a debut for the club for the latter.

Johnson has also hinted that Niall Huggins could also make his debut following his move from Leeds United earlier this month, while Dennis Cirkin should take the other full-back position.

In midfield, Johnson has suggested that there is some concern over a shoulder issue for Luke O’Nien, so the Sunderland manager may be tempted to rest the 26-year-old.

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Meanwhile, Elliott Embleton could come up against the club he helped win promotion to the Championship during a loan spell in the second-half of last season, and have been linked with a permanent move for the midfielder again this summer.

Upfront, 23-year-old Nathan Broadhead is expected to be handed his first start for the club, after two substitute appearances in the league following his loan move to The Stadium of Light from Everton earlier this summer.

On the wings, young attacking duo Josh Hawkes and Jack Diamond could once again feature in the starting lineup in the League Cup, with that win over Port Vale in the last round the only time the pair have started a game for the Black Cats this season.

That could provide another opportunity for Diamond in particular to catch the eye, with a number of clubs apparently interested in a loan deal for the 21-year-old.

UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, been writing for Football League World since March 2019. I've previously worked for the likes of Blackburn Rovers and Opta, among others.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Alves starts: The predicted Sunderland XI to face Blackpool tonight

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