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Nov 9, 2021 at 7pm UK
BradfordBradford City
Bradford win 4-2 on penalties
Broadhead (52')
Gooch (7'), Pritchard (44')
Robinson (36')
(45+1'), Scales (66')

Preview: Sunderland vs. Bradford City - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Sunderland vs. Bradford City - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's EFL Trophy clash between Sunderland and Bradford City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Seeking to end a run of three straight defeats in all competitions, Sunderland prepare to welcome Bradford City to the Stadium of Light for Tuesday's EFL Trophy encounter.

The hosts are already guaranteed to advance to the second round, while eliminated Bradford also have nothing to play for in this dead rubber.

Match preview

Things have not gone according to plan for Sunderland since booking their spot in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup - where they face a daunting away fixture with Arsenal - as Lee Johnson has overseen three defeats from his side's last three games.

After going down to Rotherham United and Sheffield Wednesday in League One - scoring only one goal and conceding eight - Sunderland found themselves up against Mansfield Town in the first round of the FA Cup and suffered a swift elimination courtesy of Rhys Oates's fifth-minute winner for the League Two side.

However, Johnson's men have secured two wins from two EFL Trophy games to cement their position in the top two of the rankings, firstly seeing off Lincoln City 2-1 before downing Manchester United's Under-21s by the same scoreline.

Sunderland welcome Bradford to the Stadium of Light having suffered back-to-back defeats in their last two home games, which came after they had prevailed in their last eight before that, but there is nothing on the line for either side this week.

In stark contrast, Bradford's run in the EFL Trophy has ended at the first hurdle, with Derek Adams's side chalking up zero points and zero goals from their first two clashes of Group F with Lincoln City and Man United's youth prospects.

After going down 3-0 to Lincoln on home soil, Man United also put three unanswered goals past Bradford in front of a 2,000-strong crowd at Valley Parade, and even the consolation of a third-placed finish is surely too far out of the visitors' reach now.

Adams's side have also added another game to their hectic schedule after playing out a 1-1 draw with Exeter City in the first round of the FA Cup - with the replay due to take place on November 16 - as Sam Nombe's finish cancelled out Theo Robinson's opener for Bradford.

Bradford have displayed a sense of resilience with four draws from their last six in all competitions, while they have also scored in each of their last five, but two wins from their last 14 is hardly an inspiring record as they seek to restore some parity here.

Sunderland EFL Trophy form:
  • W
  • W

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

Bradford City EFL Trophy form:
  • L
  • L

Bradford City form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D

Team News

Sunderland trio Corry Evans, Bailey Wright and Tom Flanagan will all be unavailable due to international commitments, while Dennis Cirkin and Callum Doyle have both been called up for England's youth teams.

Aiden McGeady missed out at the weekend due to fitness woes but should put himself into contention for this contest, but Ross Stewart is nursing a shoulder problem and is unlikely to feature.

With nothing on the line this week, young players such as Will Harris, Ellis Taylor and Bayern Munich loanee Ron-Thorben Hoffmann could all be given opportunities here.

Meanwhile, Bradford will also be without Finn Cousin-Dawson and Olivier Sukiennicki, who will be representing Northern Ireland Under-21s and Poland Under-19s this month.

Adams will also be expected to field an up-and-coming side with nothing at stake in this contest, as teenagers Kian Scales and Reece Staunton both eye opportunities in the first team.

Sunderland possible starting lineup:
Hoffmann; Younger, Alves, Jessup, Dyce; Sohna, O'Nien; Dajaku, Wearne, Taylor; Harris

Bradford City possible starting lineup:
Hornby; Staunton, Kelleher, O'Connor; Evans, Cooke, Watt, Foulds; Scales; Angol, Robinson

We say: Sunderland 1-0 Bradford City

Neither side ought to adopt a gung-ho approach in search of an inconsequential win this week, and Tuesday's battle is unlikely to be an entertaining affair for the neutrals.

While Adams's side have proven difficult to break down in recent weeks, getting over the line in matches has also been an issue for them, and we expect Sunderland to pull themselves out of their rut with all three points this week.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 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.Over 1.5:data

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