SUNDERLAND will look to progress to the FA Cup 4th round on Tuesday night as they host N.Power Championship outfit Bolton Wanderers in a third-round replay.
The original tie ended 2-2 after Sunderland fought back from two goals down to take the Trotters to a replay on Wearside.
It’s been slow but steady progress for the Wanderers under new boss Dougie Freedman, with the Scot overseeing just four league wins from his 17 games in charge to date.
Adam Johnson on the FA Cup
Winger Adam Johnson is adamant that the F.A Cup has not ‘lost its magic’ in spite of what many pundits suggest: “The days surrounding it are special and you just can`t put it into words how good it feels,’ stated the England international.
“In cup competitions all teams stand a chance – look at Bradford City`s progress in the Capital One Cup – we`ve got players at this club, who on their day can beat anyone.’
Sunderland Team News:
Sunderland are still without Wes Brown (knee) and Lee Cattermole (knee), whilst Carlos Cuellar and Danny Rose are both doubts.
Martin O’Neill will almost certainly name a strong XI despite te pressures on his small squad. Alfred N’Diaye could be in line for a full debut.
Predicted XI: Mignolet; Gardner, O’Shea (c), Bramble, Colback; Johnson, Larsson, Vaughan, McClean; Sessegon; Fletcher.
Player to watch: David Vaughan
Assuming the Welsh international is selected, it will be his third consecutive start of the season – the best run of the campaign for the 29 year-old by some stretch.
Impressive against West Ham on Saturday and unlucky not to open his account for the season, the former Blackpool, Crewe and Real Sociedad midfielder has undoubted ability on the ball but has rarely been entrusted with a starting berth since his free transfer arrival two summers ago.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Freedman rotated his XI in Bolton’s 1-1 draw with Millwall at the weekend and will doubtless chop-and-change again for the Trotters’ trip to the north east.
Predicted XI: Lonergan; Mears, Riley, Knight, Alonso; Lee, Andrews, Pratley, Petrov; Sordell & N’Gog.
Player to watch: Marvin Sordell
The England U21 and Team GB striker is an odd case having failed to click at the Reebok since signing a year ago from Watford in a £3.5m deal.
Sparingly used under previous boss Owen Coyle, new manager Freedman has used the former Fulham trainee even more infrequently.
Sordell’s lack of game time and shortness of form has been attributed to his Twitter and Facebook ‘addiction’ – something Freedman is moving to remedy.
Match Facts & Stats
– Three wins in 10 for Bolton who currently sit 16th.
– Midfielder Chris Eagles is the club;s top-scorer with seven league strikes.
– Two wins, four draws and seven defeats on the road in the league.
Mr K Friend
Assistants: Mr P Bankes & Mr R West.
Fourth official: Mr C Boyeson.
A tough game, but a win for a fairly in-form Sunderland – 3-1 to the Black Cats
A trip to struggling Wigan Athletic on January 19.