Sunderland host League Two side Crewe Alexandra in the opening round of the EFL Cup tomorrow night.
Sunderland welcome Crewe to the Stadium of Light in what is the opening round of this season’s EFL Cup.
The Black Cats were knocked out at this stage of the cup last season, losing 2-0 away at Sheffield Wednesday, and they go into this game on the back of an opening day defeat at home to Ipswich Town yesterday.
Crewe meanwhile held Mansfield Town to a 2-2 draw in their opening game of the 2023/24 League Two campaign, and they have an extra day’s rest on the Black Cats too.
Here, a handful of our writers make their predictions for the game…
“Sunderland having one day of rest between the Ipswich game and this game is pretty criminal. But Tony Mowbray won’t use it as an excuse ahead of tomorrow’s game, and with good squad depth, Sunderland should fancy their chances.
“Crewe got a good result on Saturday and they’ll be right up for the challenge of being the underdogs here, so expect a tough game for both sides.
“Still, Sunderland have so many good players in their ranks that even if they do field a completely new XI tomorrow, I think they’ll get through.”
Score prediction: Sunderland 2-0 Crewe Alexandra
“Sunderland should dispatch of Crewe pretty comfortably, even with just one full day between tomorrow’s game and the weekend defeat to Ipswich Town.
“There are stretched areas of the Black Cats’ squad but last season showed how well their players can adapt to different roles in Mowbray’s eye-catching system. Against League Two opposition, there could be some really nice passages of play for the hosts and they should cruise to a fairly comfortable win.
“Crewe might get on the score sheet but unfortunately for them, I can’t see them progressing here. Home win.”
Score prediction: Sunderland 3-1 Crewe Alexandra