Sunderland host Ipswich Town in the Championship this afternoon.
Tony Mowbray’s side are gearing up for a second year back in the Championship. They finished inside the play-offs last time around, but things look a lot tougher heading into the 2023/24 campaign. Sunderland’s summer business has been solid, but their squad is not in perfect shape going into the opening weekend.
Ipswich Town will be hoping to take the second tier by storm this season. Their League One promotion has fans hopeful of what they can kick on and achieve, but heading to the Stadium of Light isn’t an easy opener for any team.
Sunderland team news
New signing Bradley Dack won’t be involved as the former Blackburn Rovers man builds up fitness after spending the summer as a free agent.
Isaac Lihadji was left out of Sunderland’s last pre-season outing against Hartlepool United in midweek amid uncertainty around his future, Mowbray has since confirmed he is set to leave Wearside and won’t be involved this weekend.
Luke O’Nien is available despite missing the final pre-season friendly due to personal issues.
Jenson Seelt will miss the clash against Kieran McKenna’s side with an ankle injury he picked up in pre-season. Elsewhere Elliot Embleton suffered a setback recently and had to undergo another operation. He will be sidelined for at least another couple of weeks.
Ross Stewart remains out until the end of September.
Sunderland predicted XI
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the side who started last weekend against Mallorca start here. But, Alex Pritchard holds a bit more experience than Jobe Bellingham and Pritchard’s midweek goal may give him the edge this weekend.
In midfield the partnership of Dan Neil and Pierre Ekwah seems to be developing nicely with the young pair proving a solid option for Mowbray as of late.
Sunderland lack depth in attack so the forward areas pick themselves with Luis Hemir the only natural fit striker.
The game kicks off at 5pm this afternoon.