Sunderland are preparing for the biggest match in over two years as they prepare to welcome Lincoln City to the Stadium Of Light.
The Wearsiders fell to a 2-0 defeat against the Imps at Sincil Bank on Wednesday evening, meaning that the club have it all to do if they’re going to progress to the play-off final at Wembley on May 29th.
Lee Johnson’s side need to claw back that two-goal deficit, but the head coach has been handed a number of selection dilemmas for this one.
Here’s the latest team news and predicted line-up ahead of the clash with Michael Appleton’s side.
Sunderland team news
Aiden McGeady will be eligible to start against Lincoln City following uncertainty over his contract situation.
A reported clause in his deal meant that by starting against the Imps the 35-year-old would automatically trigger a one-year extension to his lucrative new deal, however Lee Johnson has confirmed that this isn’t the case.
Denver Hume and Conor McLaughlin will miss out, however, alongside Jordan Willis, Dion Sanderson and Arbenit Xhemajli .
Quiz: Did these 18 players make more than 100 Sunderland appearances?
Predicted Sunderland team
Here’s the side that I’d select to take on Lincoln City…
Despite a second half error, Lee Burge is expected to start in goal for Sunderland.
Two games in four days could be tricky for Tom Flanagan and so the centre-back could settle for a place back on the bench, while Denver Hume and Conor McLaughlin will miss out.
That means that Max Power could come in at right, with Luke O’Nien and Bailey Wright in central defence with Callum McFadzean at left-back.
Josh Scowen and Carl Winchester are good bets to start in central midfield, however the attacking unit is up for debate.
Aiden McGeady looks certain to start, while Chris Maguire has been heavily backed by supporters as someone who could make a big difference against the Imps.
Lynden Gooch was bright against Lincoln City and so I’d expect him to start behind Charlie Wyke – however with the likes of Jordan Jones, Ross Stewart and Jack Diamond on the bench it means that Lee Johnson will have some strong options as he looks to chase the game.