Sunderland return to Championship motion on Saturday as they tackle Millwall on the Stadium of Gentle and Tony Mowbray ought to unleash Ross Stewart.
It’s going to really feel like a lifetime for lots of Mackems because the Black Cats’ 2-1 win over Birmingham Metropolis on November 11, their final aggressive fixture within the second tier.
Thankfully for Sunderland, the break has allowed some gamers to return to health, with Stewart and Dominic Ballard both back on the coaching pitch after vital spells on the sidelines, though the latter is unlikely to be match for this weekend’s fixture.
It’s a robust re-introduction to life within the Championship for Mowbray’s aspect, as they face a Millwall aspect who at the moment sit sixth within the second tier after some glorious type forward of the World Cup break.
The Lions have lengthy been famend as a troublesome, bodily aspect and that definitely hasn’t modified this season, as they at the moment paved the way for aerials won per game within the Championship, averaging a outstanding 26 per recreation.
Ought to Stewart begin on Saturday?
Sunderland, in the meantime, sit 20th when measured by the identical statistic, with simply 15.6 aerials gained per recreation, which means that they may very well be in for a troublesome battle on Saturday.
Whereas Mowbray has admitted that it may very well be a chance to introduce the Scotland worldwide from the beginning on Saturday, his aerial skill makes him a game-changer for the Black Cats.
No participant in Sunderland’s squad has averaged extra aerials gained per recreation (4.1) than the previous Ross County man to this point this marketing campaign, whereas he’s additionally their high scorer and high performer in line with WhoScored, regardless of solely that includes in seven league fixtures.
This emphasises how essential the “incredible” striker is to the way in which that Mowbray needs to set his aspect up, and if he needs to trigger issues for Millwall’s defence on Saturday, then he should choose the talismanic ahead from the beginning.
If reports are to be believed, then Stewart may very well be heading again to Scotland through the January switch window, so Mowbray has to take the chance with him now, as he may not have him out there within the squad for an excessive amount of longer.