The two leaders of League One will meet at the Stadium of Light this afternoon as Sunderland and Accrington Stanley go head to head.
Despite playing a game less than the Lancashire side, the Black Cats remained on top of the third tier following the international break and head into the next batch of fixtures with supreme confidence.
After relying mainly on Aiden McGeady’s creativity and the now departed Charlie Wyke’s goals last season, Sunderland are finding sources of creativity from all angles with the likes of Ross Stewart and Elliot Embleton stepping up to the plate.
They unsurprisingly keep their places in Lee Johnson’s starting line-up but the head coach will have had a defensive dilemma going into this fixtures.
No fewer than five Sunderland defenders were on international duty this past week, including Bailey Wright who jetted off to the other side of the world with Australia, meaning that Johnson has had to select from potentially tired players.
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Despite being away with their countries, Dennis Cirkin, Callum Doyle and Tom Flanagan have all kept their places in the starting line-up, with the only change from the win over Wycombe at the end of August being between the sticks, with young Anthony Patterson dropping out for new German loanee Ron-Thorben Hoffmann.
There’s no spot on the bench for Leon Dajaku though – let’s look at how Black Cats fans have been reacting to the line-up.
even the subs bench looks lovely https://t.co/BE1s2PIXWO
— maia (@maiaoliviia) September 11, 2021
No Dajaku is a little disappointing https://t.co/Sdl1FjkYAt
— Dajaku got drip (@Pancake2733) September 11, 2021
how unreal is that man https://t.co/yTQwKg4MgH
— sadie 🍋 (@sadie2235) September 11, 2021
Just hand us the title now pic.twitter.com/sP6R83Nopz
— antonio. ✌🏻 (@antoneee_x) September 11, 2021
What a bench at this level too 😍
— Chris Laws (@chrisdlaws) September 11, 2021
What a squad 🤩
— Daniel Stokell (@DanielStokell1) September 11, 2021
— conor (@conorsafc_) September 11, 2021
Gooch how many times will he waste good opportunities today atleast 10, will do absolutely nothing yet again.
— Kieran Richardson (@BritishMan1997) September 11, 2021