After reaching Wembley midweek, it’s all about getting out of the top division again – everything you need for your Lads trip to Burton Albion before kick-off!
Radio: Full live game commentary via BBC Sunderland DAB and BBC Radio Newcastle (not online)
Don’t forget to follow the game’s blow-by-blow account on the Roker Report Twitter feed (@RokerReport) and check out player ratings after the full-time whistle at www.RokerReportcom!
Is Sunderland on the move? We all, along with Lee Johnson, no doubt hope so, but what are the signs?
Are we looking at a week where we beat a promo favorite 4-1 and reached the EFL Trophy final at Wembley after a penalty shootout?
Or are we looking at a win in the last four Premier League games – including a poor performance that ended in defeat just 11 days ago in Shrewsbury Town?
The question of which Sunderland will emerge is not new Eliminating this question mark is key to a successful end to this season
Extrapolating existing games to three points shows that we could potentially be four points outside the play-offs, and Lee Johnson will only be well aware that more top division slips will create an unreachable gap
Burton Albion decided to fire manager Jake Buxton in late December as they sat at the foot of the top division six points for safety reasons.They then decided to look back to look ahead and start the new year with the appointment of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink for the second time as manager in the club on New Years Day
His first appearance at the club included winning the League Two title and taking the lead in League One when he moved to the Queens Park Rangers in December 2015
After a 5-1 home defeat to Oxford United just one day after his appointment, the ex-Chelsea striker would have had no illusions about the extent of the task at hand, but three wins in the four games since then, the ship at Pirelli -Stadium stabilized
They are now only three points away from first division safety and will examine the opportunity to use all three in a clash with Sunderland to prove they turned a corner
Dion Sanderson is returning to the competition after a midweek cup tie and is expected to compete alongside Bailey Wright, who should be fit after a blow to Lincoln
It could be a coin toss between Vokins and McFadzean on the left, but McFadzean will likely get the nod Ross Stewart will also have to wait for his Sunderland debut as he is fit again after a hamstring injury
Otherwise, expectation is a side that builds on the standard set in defeating Doncaster Rovers last week
A huge turnover in January means that the second Hasselbaink era is still taking shape at the Pirelli and a starting XI is difficult to predict
Eleven signings in the January window, plus two signings last week in the form of Michael Mancienne and Danny Rowe, have given the Brewers roster an element of depth
Kane Hemmings may need a late assessment to see if he will be able to take the line but will be Burton’s only striker if he does
Sunderland: J. McLaughlin, Matthews, Loovens (O’Nien), Baldwin, Oviedo, Sinclair (McGeady), Cattermole, Honeyman, Gooch, Maja, Wyke (Maguire) Unused substitutes: Ruiter, Hume, Flanagan, Ozturk
Burton Albion: Evtimov, McCroy (Hutchinson), Fraser, Allen, McFadzean, Turner, Templton (Sbarra), Akins, Sordell (Fox), Quinn, Boyce Unused substitutes: Campbell, Hesketh, Harness, Cole>
Delap started his career with Carlisle United in the mid-1990s and made a big leap to Derby County in 1998 after moving to Southampton, joining Mick McCarthy’s Sunderland in the 2005-06 season when Sunderland was relegated
His injured time at Sunderland was summed up with just 13 appearances for the club. He went to Stoke City, where he became famous for his lengthy throw-ins after not even pointing out that ability in Sunderland, after finishing his career at Burton Albion six appearances in 2013 His son Liam is in the books in Manchester City
Washington-born Pickford had six loans when he was learning his trade before his breakthrough in Sunderland
Darlington, Alfreton Town, Carlisle United, Bradford City, Preston North End and today’s opponent Burton Albion saw the young goalkeeper’s potential up close, making 13 appearances for Burton in 2013, not much less than the total of 35 appearances for Burton Sunderland is just three times the number of times he’s been substituted on
He went to Everton for a few pounds and played the World Cup semi-finals and so on
The league positions of the two teams are reflected in the bets where Sunderland are clear favorites with bookmakers with 3/4 Burton finds a 4/1 shot with the draw on offer at 5/2
No wonder Charlie Wyke is the man bookies like most to open the scoring for Sunderland at 5/2 and on 10/11 as the goalscorer at any time. Aiden O’Brien may have a higher score at 5/1 to get the start, and at 19/10 to get online anytime
A 1-0 win in Sunderland ensures a correct result at 24: 5, a more comfortable 2-0 at 6: 1
After midweek, I just want a routine no-fuss win this weekend, and I think we will make it
Burton v Sunderland
World News – GB – Match Preview: Get everything you need to know before Burton Albion v Sunderland!