4-2-3-1: Sunderland predicted XI v Middlesbrough as third place beckons

Sunderland have the opportunity to rise up to third with a win over Middlesbrough on Saturday, here is how we think they’ll line-up.

Since early struggles subsided, Sunderland have been almost faultless in the Championship with six wins, one draw and a loss from their last eight games.

This form has witnessed Tony Mowbray‘s side rise through the ranks, now finding themselves fourth, just a point behind third.

The Black Cats will come up against a Middlesbrough side who have dealt with their own issues early this Eason, but have now bounced back with five game unbeaten in all competitions.

So despite being separated by 13 places, the game won’t be easy for Mowbray and his young side.

Here is our predicted XI to see Sunderland take a step into third place…

Sunderland predicted XI

With the international break coming after this weekend, it is expected Mowbray will go with his strongest XI.


This will mean Anthony Patterson retains his place in goal, as Nathan Bishop continues to understudy.



I always dreamed of playing for Sunderland' - Anthony Patterson - Sports  Illustrated Sunderland Nation

In the full-back slots, Niall Huggins and Trai Hume should also continue with the former looking to build on his impressive mid-week display.


Centre-halves should continue to be Daniel Ballard and Luke O’Nien who have become mainstays in the team.


Abdoullah Ba and Dan Neil will continue in midfield as they performed excellently together in the week.


Moving forward, Patrick Roberts and Jack Clarke should get the nod out ideas both are so dangerous, particularly Clarke who has been on fire.


Jobe Bellingham keeps his place in the 10 position where he continues to improves and develop.


Meanwhile up front, Mason Burstow should also get to continue as he hunts his first goal.


Sunderland predicted XI: Patterson; Huggins, Ballard, O’Nien, Hume; Ba, Roberts, Neil, Bellingham, Clarke; Burstow


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