Strikerless Sunderland have shown no signs of slowing down in front of goal, with five goals in their last two outings coming from wingers and defenders. Tony Mowbray has managed to get his side scoring in the absence of Ross Stewart and Ellis Simms. He was hoping the latter would be available for this weekend’s clash against Preston but the Black Cats will have to manage without a forward for the third game running.
That will mean Alex Pritchard may well play as the false nine again, with Patrick Roberts and Jack Clarke running beyond the playmaker. It remains to be seen whether it will work again against a very resolute Preston side. Sunderland are firm favourites to win the match, however, with bookies pricing the home win at 23/20.
Preston suffered only their second defeat of the season at the hands of League leaders Sheffield United before the international break. The Blades managed to double the number of goals North End have conceded this season, which still stands at a remarkable four. The problem though is at the other end of the pitch where they have scored just three times.
Given those stats bore draws have featured heavily in Preston’s season, with five stalemates so far. There is no doubt that they will be under the cosh at the Stadium of Light with the crowd in good spirits of late. Preston are understandably outsiders for this clash, with bookies pricing the away win at 23/10.