Sunderland host Rotherham United in the Championship this weekend.
Sunderland lost last time out against Preston North End. The defeat at Deepdale was their third of the season with Tony Mowbray’s men struggling to get going following their top six finish last time around.
Rotherham United lost a two goal lead last weekend in circumstances which aggrieved them. Their opening day collapse against Stoke City is a worrying sign and the Millers have picked up two red cards in two Championship games now.
Here, a handful of our writers make their predictions for the game…
“Sunderland are just missing that final touch. Their performances are backed up quite well against many other sides in the division, but ultimately you cannot win games of football if you can’t put the ball in the back of the net. Defensively Sunderland have conceded some quite unlucky goals, but they do need to stop leaking chances especially given their current goal scoring abilities.
“Rotherham United will be tough to beat and they started well against a solid Blackburn Rovers side last time out. They must react well as they travel to the north east. Last season Rotherham United managed to beat Sunderland once, but a lot has changed since then and it won’t be the same game this weekend.
“Both sides haven’t really hit the ground running, but for me this is a game the hosts simply have to win and I think they’ll find a way through although I doubt it’ll be a vintage display.”
Score prediction: Sunderland 2-0 Rotherham United
“Already, it looks like Sunderland have a must-win game on the horizon. Another defeat here would make for a very poor start to the season and it could spell trouble for Mowbray, who’s been dealt a pretty poor hand.
“He’s lacking in areas but Sunderland seem too focussed on breeding the next generation of players, rather than signing players in the necessary positions.
“But Rotherham are looking pretty poor and so Sunderland will fancy their chances. The Millers did put on a good show in the first half of their last game v Blackburn Rovers but still ended up sharing the points.
“I’m going to back Sunderland for a win in this one.”
Score prediction: Sunderland 1-0 Rotherham United