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Dec 27, 2021 at 12.30pm UK
DoncasterDoncaster Rovers

Gardner (83')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Stewart (7' pen.), Embleton (41'), Blythe (50' og.)
Doyle (88')

Preview: Doncaster Rovers vs. Sunderland - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Doncaster Rovers vs. Sunderland - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Monday's League One clash between Doncaster Rovers and Sunderland, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Fresh off the back of a humbling 5-1 cup defeat at the hands of Arsenal, Sunderland visit the Keepmoat Stadium to lock horns with Doncaster Rovers in matchweek 24 of League One on Monday.

The hosts, on the other hand, will head into the game aiming to get one over the visitors having failed to pick up a win in any of the last six meetings between the sides since 2015.

Match preview

Doncaster Rovers picked up just their fourth win of the season two Saturdays ago when they saw off a wasteful Shrewsbury Town side 1-0 on home turf.

In a game where both sides were lethargic in the final third, Joseph Olowu was the hero on the occasion as the 22-year-old defender headed home Branden Horton's corner kick with 11 minutes remaining in the game.

The result ended their run of seven games without a league win as they had managed just three draws and lost four games since a nerve-racking 3-2 victory over Cheltenham United on October 23.

With 16 points from 21 games, Doncaster Rovers are currently bottom but one in the EFL League One standings, one point above rock-bottom Crewe Alexandra and six behind Shrewsbury Town just outside the relegation zone.

Their poor performance has been in no small part owing to their lethargic display at the attacking end of the pitch, where they boast the league's poorest record with just 13 goals scored so far.

Another area needing improvement sooner rather than later in their race to beat the drop is their dreadful form away from home as Gary McSheffrey's side have picked up the fewest points on the road this season after claiming one draw and losing 10 of 11 away games.

Sunderland, on the other hand, will be delighted by their performance in the League One this season as they are currently third on the log, four points behind first-place Rotherham United.

Lee Johnson's men have picked up 13 wins and four draws from 22 games so far and are unbeaten in each of their last seven league games, claiming four wins and three draws in that time.

Their impressive performance in the first half of the season has been down to their solid form on home turf, where they boast the division's best record with nine wins and one draw from 11 games, while conceding just six goals in that time.

However, Sunderland head into Monday's game fresh off the back of seeing their EFL Cup campaign come to an end courtesy of a 5-1 defeat at the hands of Arsenal when the sides squared off at the Emirates Stadium last Tuesday.

However, the Black Cats will feel confident of quickly returning to winning ways as next up is an opposing side who they are unbeaten against in each of the last six encounters between the teams, claiming four wins and two draws since a 2-0 defeat back in 2015.

Doncaster Rovers League One form:
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W

Doncaster Rovers form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W

Sunderland League One form:
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D

Sunderland form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L

Team News

Following his side's win over Shrewsbury Town last time out, McSheffrey could name a similar XI on Monday, meaning we could see a back three of Joseph Olowu, Tom Anderson and Kyle Knoyle shielding Louis Jones in goal.

Lirak Hasani was handed just his second starting appearance of the season in the aforementioned game, but the Kosovo youngster could return to the bench after his quiet performance, with Aidan Barlow pushing for a starring role.

As for Sunderland, Johnson has several issues to contend with on the injury fronts as the likes of Dennis Cirkin and Corry Evans have been sidelined through hernia and calf problems respectively.

Union Berlin loanee Leon Dajaku hobbled off the pitch after just 41 minutes in versus Ipswich Town two Saturdays ago and the German forward is out of contention for Monday's game.

Luke O'Nien is set to sit out his eighth consecutive game after picking up an injury in November's clash with Shrewsbury Town, while Aiden McGeady is not expected to feature until January after sustaining a knee problem.

Doncaster Rovers possible starting lineup:
Jones; Knoyle, Anderson, Olowu; Hasani, Smith, Galbraith, Horton; Dodoo, Rowe, Hiwula-Mayifuila

Sunderland possible starting lineup:
Hoffmann; Wright, Flanagan, Doyle; Hume, Neil, Winchester, Embleton; Pritchard, Broadhead, Stewart

We say: Doncaster Rovers 0-2 Sunderland

While Doncaster Rovers will be seeking to build on their morale-boosting win over the Salop, they face the stern test of going up against a rampant Sunderland side who are unbeaten in their last seven league games. Taking away the cup defeat against Arsenal last time out, the visitors head into Monday's game in fine form and we predict they will claim all three points in this one.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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