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22/1/2023 | 09:15am

Tony Mowbray’s Sunderland return to motion within the Championship this afternoon as they tackle rivals Middlesbrough on the Stadium of Gentle.

The Black Cats might be hoping to bounce again from their final match within the division as they have been crushed 3-1 by Russell Martin’s Swansea on their very own turf.

Sunderland have been preventing in opposition to the chances after 18 minutes in opposition to the Swans as central defender Luke O’Nien was proven a straight crimson card for a horribly mistimed problem which led to the away facet marching on to all three factors.

A win for the hosts in opposition to Middlesbrough right this moment will ship them degree on factors with ninth-placed West Bromwich Albion and one level behind Norwich within the ultimate play-off place within the desk.

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Due to this fact, there may be loads for the Black Cats to play for and Mowbray should now unleash skilled central defender Danny Batth from the begin to give his facet an improved likelihood of profitable the match.

O’Nien was given his marching orders in opposition to Swansea and can now be suspended for this match. The previous Wycombe man has not been within the best of kind all through the season as far as he has averaged a Sofascore score of 6.77 throughout his 25 appearances within the Championship, which locations him sixteenth within the squad.

Ought to Danny Batth begin?





Batth, in the meantime, has averaged a rating of 6.86 within the division and has been the membership’s seventh-best performer this season. He was a substitute in opposition to the Swans because it was his first sport again for the reason that seventeenth December and Mowbray should unleash him from the beginning right this moment to switch the suspended O’Nien.

The 6 foot 3 man mountain, whose anticipated switch worth (xTV) is £526k, got here off the bench in opposition to Swansea and recorded a Sofascore score of 6.9 as he assisted Daniel Neil’s objective, gained 100% of his floor duels, and made three clearances, two blocks, one deal with, and one interception – as per Sofascore.

Batth, who was as soon as dubbed “excellent” by journalist Josh Bunting, has been a dominant power on the pitch for Sunderland this season as he has gained a whopping 70% of his aerial battles within the Championship, while making 4.1 clearances per sport for the facet.

Whereas, O’Nien has solely gained 54% of his duels within the air and made 3.1 clearances per match. This means, together with their common efficiency ranges, that the 32-year-old veteran would are available as a giant improve on the versatile defender by beginning in opposition to Middlesbrough this afternoon, which is why Mowbray should deliver him in.

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