Sunderland welcome West Bromwich Albion to Stadium of Light in Monday Night Football.
Victory would see Tony Mowbray’s Mackems climb to seventh in the table, whilst West Brom can climb out of the relegation zone with a win and go 17th.
Ross Stewart is set to return for Sunderland after a thigh injury kept him sidelined for the last three months.
Edouard Michut (leg), Luke O’Nien and Alex Pritchard (knocks) are doubts but Dan Ballard (foot) is unlikely to be risked in this fixture.
Jewison Bennette and Bailey Wright are set to be in contention following their return from the World Cup, where they represented Costa Rica and Australia respectively.
West Brom could welcome Semi Ajayi, Daryl Dike and Grady Diangana back after the trio successfully resumed training during the World Cup break, following various injury lay-offs.
- Sunderland have won just one of their last 15 meetings against West Brom (W1, D5, L9).
- West Brom have won just one of their last six visits to Sunderland (W1, D4, L1).
- Two of the last three meetings between Sunderland and West Brom at Stadium of Light have finished goalless.
- Amad Diallo has scored in two of Sunderland’s last three home matches.
- Kyle Bartley’s two goals this season for West Brom were both scored from headers.
Having resumed their season a week earlier due to a rescheduled clash against Millwall, Sunderland certainly looked the more clinical against the Lions despite a rusty opening half for both teams so I do expect them to hopefully come out ready to take the fight to West Brom from the first whistle.
West Brom therefore will need to be wary of Sunderland’s early match fitness advantage in the first-half as their players reclimatise back into competitive football, but the Baggies entered the break with three consecutive wins which should provide extra confidence coming to the North-East.
Carlos Corberan’s Baggies though have a tricky task on their hands because their record in Sunderland in poor, yet the Mackems have the overall worse record in recent meetings so this could be a tricky contest where I think Sunderland might just have the edge following their win last weekend.
Prediction: Sunderland 2-1 WBA
Result: Sunderland 1-2 WBA