Sunderland AFC Preview: Time to slay the Tigers on Stewart’s return?

With a trip to Hull City next on the horizon, we take a look at the Sunderland team news

After back to back wins spliced by the ruddy World Cup, defeat came on Monday night at the Baggie hands of West Brom, meaning Sunderland are yet to win three games in a row since April, and that was in shitsville League One.

So this week it’s Hull City, meaning Lads fans better be prepared to actually shit themselves as the home crowd become extras from Cats as they sing about being mauled by the Tigers. But Morrissey once said there was panic on the streets of .. Humberside, and that may still be the case as they fear the imminent return of striker Ross Stewart. That and their ever increasing injury list which keeps the hosts Hull at the foot of the Championship table.

And as we seek clarity on the current fitness of the Lochness Drogba, it is somewhat getting lost in the cutting edge matters at the football club, like, what is Tony’s favourite Revel? But as we debate with our Tony whether a Yorkie really is “not for girls” (millenials relax, it’s not), it does now look promising that after a 60 minute bounce game turn out against Boro, and a training session today, the big man is very firmly back on.. err, snow?

But regardless of whether he does make an appearance, we do have Ellis Simms, and he’s just great. Albeit he has polarised opinion across our fan base, where some take fast, intelligent and driven, as slow, lazy and uninterested.

The gaffer will need to break the narrative of only being good for one half, getting overran in midfield, failing to score from set pieces, and painfully late substitutions. At times this season we have dominated the ball, played some great pressing football, and have scored multiple goal of the season contenders.. but it all loses its charm when we get worked out by fairly basic opposition.

As much as it would be nice to do a Reading away on them, I feel an assured workmanlike performance with a goal from a corner, and who knows, maybe a Pritchard free kick on target, would make for a very good away result this weekend.

Liam Rosenior has made a positive impact after taking over from Shota Arveladze, who was sacked after eight months in charge. A win, a loss and two draws against top half opposition, has helped them climb out of the relegation places. However he will be without Dimitrios Pelkas for the next three months after suffering an impact injury in their last outing in a goalless draw against Watford. There were fears Hull would be without Gary Doherty with the medical myth that is the dead leg.. but he’s fine.

For the Lads there isn’t any new injury worries, and Dan Ballard has had vital minutes in his rehab that could see him also in the match day squad, making the side even taller – bring on corner 102! I’d be tempted to drop Lynden Gooch and move Luke O’Nien to right back, switching Aji Alese to left centre back and making room for the highly talented Dennis Cirkin to return at left back.

Physicality is going to be important as we hit the bleak mid-winter, so I’d be tempted to replace Elliot Embleton albeit we don’t really have anyone stronger. But Jack Clarke is far more direct and could look to stretch the home side a bit more, and provide valuable service to our literally massive strikers (plural).

There have been no draws at the MKM Stadium this season, and the hosts have only won four, which is one more than us to be fair! Despite being on the east coast, and relatively north, Hull is an absolute bitch of a journey which will no doubt be further compounded by cancelled trains and shitty driving conditions. Let’s get back on track.

Ha’way the Lads.