Sunderland welcome Bolton Wanderers to the North East this weekend – a clash in which both sides will be looking to solidify their position in the League One play-offs.

Both teams disappointed in their league fixtures last time out, Sunderland lost a two goal advantage whilst Bolton were defeated 2-0 by Rotherham.

Sunderland have had a chance midweek to get some players up to speed with the intensity required to play at this level and the highly rotated Black Cats lineup ran ragged against Wigan, beating them 2-0 to progress to the Round of 16 in the Carabao Cup.

Team News

Manager Lee Johnson has a big selection headache on his hands ahead of this fixture with Leon Dajaku making his first appearance for Sunderland midweek and impressing the 1,500 travelling supporters.

Niall Huggins also shone as he started right-back, however he was subbed off due to a little knock he picked up, Johnson told Sunderland Echo:

“I’m hoping it’s just cramp with Niall. 

“I think it was because it seems to have eased off.”

Defender Tom Flanagan returns following his suspension which kept him out of the 2-2 draw to Fleetwood last Saturday.

Predicted XI

(4-2-3-1)

Ron Hoffmann (GK), Carl Winchester, Tom Flanagan, Callum Doyle, Dennis Cirkin, Dan Neil, Luke O’Nien, Aiden McGeady (C), Elliot Embleton, Lynden Gooch, Ross Stewart

Score Prediction

Ian Evatt’s men will relish the trip up to Wearside and this will by no means be an easy game for either set of supporters.

This game really is one that could swing either way and whichever way it swings, it makes for some very interesting results at the top end of League One.

Prediction: Sunderland 2-1 Bolton