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Lee Johnson faces these Sunderland decisions ahead of Rochdale at 3pm

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Sunderland are preparing for another big match in the League One promotion race.

The Black Cats are facing Rochdale at the Stadium Of Light in a match which could go a long way to deciding where the club could finish in the table this term.

Despite a minor blip last weekend when the Wearsiders drew 2-2 with Crewe Alexandra Lee Johnson’s side got back to winning ways midweek with a 1-0 win over Swindon Town.

But who will Johnson select as he goes in search of Sunderland’s next three points? We take a look at the dilemmas that he’s facing.

Four or five at the back?

Sunderland have typically often for three central defenders and wing-backs under Lee Johnson but against Swindon we saw a change of system.

Due to lack of personnel Lee Johnson switched to a back four midweek – a set-up that looked relatively solid.

It’ll be interesting to see the formation that Johnson selects against Rochdale – after all, the Black Cats will surely be seen as favourites for this one and so may put more focus on their attacking play.

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Where will Max Power play?

A consideration that links into the formation.

With Conor McLaughlin injured and Sunderland lacking central defensive options then the midfielder could be seen as the man to slot in at right-back like he did against Swindon.

Of course that has a knock-on effect to the centre of midfield and with Grant Leadbitter injured it is certainly a consideration for Lee Johnson to decide where Power is most needed.

Recalling Aiden O’Brien?

The forward has been a first team regular of late but was rested against Swindon.

With Sunderland opting to play Aiden McGeady, Lynden Gooch and Jordan Jones midweek it’ll be interesting to see if O’Brien is deemed worthy of a recall.

That could depend on Gooch’s fitness, but personally I’d be surprise if O’Brien wasn’t recalled.


North East-based EFL writer and aspiring author

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Lee Johnson faces these Sunderland decisions ahead of Rochdale at 3pm

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