Sunderland vs Hull City takes place at the Stadium of Light in the Championship tonight. The game kicks off at 20:00 and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Football.
Michael Beale’s Sunderland reign is already on unsure footing within certain sections of the passionate Wearside fanbase so the former QPR and Rangers boss could already do with a positive performance and result to galvanize their play-off charge.
It may well be a positive for Beale then that Hull are also enduring something of a sticky patch. Whilst Liam Rosenior continues to carry the full support of the Hull fanbase, and having recently signed a new contract, that goes for the management of the club as well, if they are going to continue to back him well financially then owners will expect a positive end to the season with play-offs as their aim as well.
Sunderland are very much win or bust at the Stadium of Light this season. No draws in their last ten, but those defeats just prevent the club from attaining that consistency required in this version of the Championship. One win in six away from home for Hull also highlights their issues, although I think that their performance level has remained pretty solid throughout this results blip.
So, we have two teams that are stumbling over a potential play-off bid, how very EFL Championship, but there are a couple of really interesting angles into this match that I will share with you now.
You can find my Sunderland v Hull best bets below, and for further betting insight, there are opta-powered bet builder stats on my website that cover every Championship match happening this weekend. My free bets page provides over £600 worth of free bets at your fingertips to put you in a strong position ahead of this weekend’s slate of fixtures.
What are the Sunderland v Hull best bets?
Fabio Carvalho over 1.5 shots – 8/13 – Bet365
It is a tough match to predict the outcome of, either in terms of who may win the match or even how many goals might be scored, so I have steered clear of result and goal-based bets for this match, I didn’t see enough value in the market for us.
Where I did see some whopping value is in this particular bet. Fabio Carvalho and Scott Twine have effectively been swapped for Liam Rosenior and with Liam Delap confirmed to be missing for a few weeks at least, there will be emphasis on Carvalho to replace at least Twine’s goal threat and perhaps more.
Twine had a fairly high shot volume, but Delap had an even greater number of shots, so Carvalho does have big boots to fill from that perspective. But is the Portuguese up to it?
Well, he played the full match on debut last week against Norwich and he took four shots on that day. So we now know that he is match fit, that Rosenior already sees him as a starter and someone to have on the pitch as much as possible, and that Carvalho has instructions to get shots away.
Historically, Carvalho is a good follow for shots. In his Championship season with Fulham in 21/22 he averaged just over 2.5 shots per game. This bet lands if he shoots twice, so even below average on that form sees us have a winner here.
Jack Clarke to score – 2/1 – Bet365
Clarke has established himself as a regular goalscorer this season having bagged 13 goals already in the Championship across 11 matches. Clarke is in the race for top goalscorer in the league as well which may well be a motivating factor for him.
The former Leeds and Spurs winger is by far and away Sunderland’s biggest threat from an attacking perspective. He has hit double the number of shots of anyone else in the Sunderland squad, and so this is a blessing and a curse. There is a concern that Liam Rosenior could come up with a plan to combat Clarke’s threat, but, all of the other Championship managers will have tried similar, and Clarke’s return is clear for all to see.
Sunderland could do with some inspiration and lifting, Jack Clarke is the obvious man to deliver this for them.
Sunderland v Hull team news
Patrick Roberts is probably the biggest miss from the Sunderland XI but his absence has been known about and prepared for. Abdoullah Ba has been used in Roberts’ place but Nazariy Rusyn may be restored to the starting XI, causing a narrowing of the attacking midfielders and sacrificing some width.
Liam Delap is missing, Twine has left, and Aaron Connolly may be missing due to concussion protocols. Therefore, Billy Sharp is in line to start up front, with Jason Lokilo potentially deputising in the three behind Sharp.
Sunderland v Hull predicted line-ups
Patterson, Hume, Ballard, O’Nien, Alese, Ekwah, Neil, Pritchard, Clarke, Bellingham, Rusyn
Allsop, Coyle, Greaves, Jones, Jacob, Morton, Slater, Carvalho, Tufan, Lokilo, Sharp
Sunderland v Hull stats and facts
- Sunderland are 2nd in the table if only goals from the 75th minute and onwards were counted, they have scored 10 and conceded only 3 in this period so far this season.
- Hull are in the top six of teams in terms of points won if only first-half goals counted, so the teams are quite opposite in terms of when they are at their strongest.
- Billy Sharp is looking for a Championship goal for an eighth different club having bagged for Sheffield United, Doncaster Rovers, Scunthorpe United, Nottingham Forest, Leeds United, Southampton, and Reading previously in the second tier.
- Having bagged in the FA Cup against Birmingham, Jason Lokilo is looking for his first goal in the EFL since a strike for Doncaster against Fleetwood in February 2021.
- Nazariy Rusyn has yet to overtake his number of goals in Ukraine this season with Sunderland, he has one in the Ukrainian Premier League and one in the Championship.