Probable Team Lineups: Sunderland v Wolves
Two to go and Wolves are traveling up north to play our manager Mick McCarthy’s old team. Probably a special moment for him and for Jody Craddock – our veteran central defender – who has played at the Stadium Of Light for five seasons.
Both teams are on the up at the moment, following victories in their last games. Sunderland did win against Bolton away and Wolves – as we all know – collected a well deserved win against local club down the road, West Brom. Those two games have something in common, neither Bolton Wanderers nor West Bromwich Albion had much to play for.
This weekend Wolves has of course everything to play for when points and survival are concerned, while Sunderland has their honour and to give something back to their home fans who have suffered lately after the team has lost five out of six of their last home games.
The reason for that is – at least in part – because of massive injury problems in the Black Cats team. We have had our fair share of the same during our season but now we look more and more complete as a team while Sunderland have more players out injured than ever.
Kevin Doyle is back in training and will probably play from the bench against the Black Cats, but Edwards (back), Mouyokolo (knee), Kightly (groin) and Zubar (back) seem to be out for the season.
In Sunderland only twelve senior players were fit enough to train in the build-up to this match. Their top-scorers Gyan and Welbeck are both out with hamstring injuries and must be a big loss to the team. Add the injuries on – Titus Bramble, Frazier Campbell, Craig Gordon, David Meyler and Michael Turner (all knee), and Kieran Richardson (calf) and the doubtful Cattermole (back) – to that and you will have a team with problems. They have also sent Muntanari back to Inter Milan after having him on loan for a couple of months.
Sunderland are expected to play with only one man upfront, simply because they have no recognised striker fit in the squad. His name is Stéphane Sessegnon, and is a 26-year-old attacking midfielder from Benin with good dribbling skills who came to Sunderland from Paris St Germain this season. He is very short, so no real threat in the air to our defence.
I believe that Wolves will continue to play 4-4-2, despite the formation of our opponents, simply because it worked so well against West Brom. But we better look out if we lose the midfield and Ward have to work back a lot if he will play, in my opinion. But with two strong wide midfielders in Guédioura and Hunt we should be able to compete well in midfield and have two upfront aswell.
What about the result, then? At this time of season it’s hard to separate sentiments from facts, but I guess the most probable result is a draw, but I want to believe that we are more likely to win than the home team in this one, because of our need of points and their lack of goalscorers.
Below are the probable starting elevens for the clash at The Stadium Of Light.
UP THE WOLVES!!!