Sunderland return to motion within the Championship tonight as they journey away from the Stadium of Mild to face Sheffield United.
The Black Cats come into the match off the again of a 2-2 draw at residence to Queens Park Rangers on the weekend. Ellis Simms and Ross Stewart put them in a commanding place just for the opposition goalkeeper to come back ahead to attain an equaliser in stoppage time.
They had been additionally hit with a major damage blow within the match as summer time signing Daniel Ballard was compelled off the pitch inside the opening ten minutes of the sport.
The centre-back has now been dominated out for an unspecified period of time, with Neil telling the club’s official website:
“It’s tough to place a timescale on it,”
“Now we have a number of different scans to undertake – and a few specialists to see – to totally perceive the severity of it, however that course of is underway to make sure he then receives the mandatory remedy to get him again as quickly as we will.”
Neil should now substitute the previous Arsenal man within the beginning line up and he ought to unleash the versatile Luke O’Nien from the beginning tonight.
Ought to O’Nien begin?
O’Nien received six of his seven particular person duels and made five interceptions within the match. Dennis Cirkin and Danny Batth, who each played the total 90 minutes, received a decrease percentage of their battles and solely made three interceptions between them.
This exhibits that he was stronger than his fellow centre-backs and browse the sport extra successfully as he minimize out opposition assaults extra typically than each of them mixed.
Due to this fact, he was the very best participant within the again three on the day as he stood out forward of Cirkin and Batth defensively, regardless of being chucked in on the deep finish within the first-half as a result of damage.
He was wanted badly in that state of affairs to cope with the blow and that’s the casee once more tonight. Neil is with out Ballard for the conflict with the Blades and O’Nien must be unleashed as they want the robust defending he showcased in opposition to QPR, given how superior he was to his colleagues.
The previous Wycombe man proved that he can slot into that place and never look misplaced at Championship degree and that’s the reason he should be named within the beginning XI to fill the correct centre-back slot that’s now in determined want of an occupant.