This game is going to a big progress check for Wednesday to see exactly where we are at and how far we have come over the last couple of months. Being our first reverse fixture of the season, we now have something to compare to and see the progress the squad really has made.
Of course, the last game against Sunderland was probably our best of the season, thrashing them 3-0 at Hillsborough, so the game tomorrow night will show whether we have been able to maintain those standards and take another three points away from certain promotion contenders.
Arguably, this fixture will be much tougher than the last against Sunderland as, since that game, Sunderland have hit form and haven’t lost since. Thus, in my eyes. a victory in this game would show real progress in maintaining the high standards we have set over recent weeks.
Sunderland have now pushed onto 2nd in the league, and facing them at the Stadium of Light is one of, if not the most tough place to go in this division.
I believe the break we have just had has actually come at a bad time, as we were hitting our stride and putting wins and big performances together. It had been a while since we had actually put in a bad performance and so I am very interested to see whether we can continue momentum even after the two week break.
Beating Sunderland and ending their run would be a huge statement from us and would show that we are now in full flow.
Against stronger teams this year, we have probably been better – beating Rotherham, MK Dons, Sunderland and Wigan – so that gives me hope that we will hopefully turn up again and continue our unbeaten streak.
At the moment, it isn’t clear who will not be available for the game due to Covid, but should hopefully have Chey Dunkley back who will be essential to keeping the Black Cats out on Thursday night.
I have seen this squad turn a corner over recent weeks, and although we are still drawing too many, the performances of late have been a real positive, even in games such as Wycombe where we drew, we attacked and certainly were the much better team.
If we play like we have been recently, I see no reason why we can’t beat Sunderland again. Last time they could not cope with our wing backs – Corbeanu and Paterson – and hopefully we can yet again exploit this and take away all three points in this massive game.
Line-up I would go with: (5-3-2) Peacock Farrell, Hunt, Brennan, Dunkley, Palmer, Corbeanu, Dele-Bashiru, Adeniran, Bannan, Windass, Gregory
My Prediction: Sunderland 0-1 SWFC