Sunderland host Middlesbrough in the Championship this weekend.
Sunderland sit 10th in the Championship following a disappointing defeat to Swansea City last time out. Tony Mowbray’s side were five games unbeaten before the loss, but despite the this, Sunderland can be confident given their performance with ten men.
Boro look like a different beast under Michael Carrick and are currently on a run of four league wins in a row. Middlesbrough most recently edged past Millwall, and at the moment aren’t a side you want to be facing.
Ahead of the clash, a handful of The72’s writers have given their predictions…
“The atmosphere at the Stadium of Light will be huge on Sunday. Both sides will back themselves and Sunderland will be keen to return to winning ways and push themselves closer to the top-six after last weekend’s result.
“Middlesbrough will pose a huge threat. Carrick currently has everyone in the squad performing well and Mowbray’s side will need to be solid and clinical to stand any chance of a win.
“The last time these sides met Middlesbrough brushed past Sunderland with barely a problem. This time around Sunderland do have Ross Stewart to work with, but I’m not convinced it’ll be enough.”
Score prediction: Sunderland 1-2 Middlesbrough
“This is setting up to be a really exciting clash between the North East rivals. Both are in with a really strong shout of earning a place in the play-offs this season and hopefully the stakes are reflected by an electric atmosphere.
“I can’t go against Middlesbrough at the moment though, even with the home advantage in Sunderland’s favour.
“Chuba Akpom is in imperious form and he or Ross Stewart could be the deciding factors in this one. I’m backing the visitors to take an entertaining win though to make if five straight victorious for Carrick’s side.”
Score prediction: Sunderland 2-3 Middlesbrough