The Sky Sports game on Friday takes us to Sunderland where they welcome Accrington. Tom Carnduff has two best bets.
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Sunderland v Accrington (Stadium of Light, 1945 GMT, Sky Sports Football)
It's probably the biggest mismatch in the Sky Bet EFL, but Sunderland welcome Accrington to the Stadium of Light as they look to close the gap on the top-two.
Jack Ross' side remain among those sides looking for automatic promotion, although the worry is that the sheer amount of draws could damage their aspirations of back to England's second tier.
They've lost just two of their 30 league games this season, that said, 13 of those games have also been draws. With Luton flying and Barnsley proving to be a tough team to beat, particularly at Oakwell, those dropped points could see Sunderland potentially have to settle for the play-offs.
The Black Cats should grab the victory here though given Accrington's poor form in recent weeks. They've failed to score, let alone win, in their last five games and that has knocked them down from top-six early days to three points above relegation.
The home side should make some changes to the starting line-up that were held by Blackpool in midweek. Sunderland will be without Bryan Oviedo, Duncan Watmore, Glenn Loovens and Donald Love here - although Lee Cattermole and Max Power could return to bolster midfield options.
One player who could move back into the midfield trio is Luke O'Nien. He's established himself as a bit of a utility man in this Sunderland side with an ability to play in any midfield position alongside right-back.
The 24-year-old has been playing in that full-back role in recent weeks, but a potential return to the line-up for Adam Matthews should allow O'Nien to move back into the midfield area.
With Grant Leadbitter becoming a certain starter since his January arrival from local rivals Middlesbrough, O'Nien would be allowed the freedom to play in a more advanced position with Leadbitter the preferred deep-lying midfield option.
Against an Accrington side who are struggling, Sunderland should see plenty of chances for goal. Will Grigg is the obvious choice when it comes to goals - and Sporting Life have an exclusive 9/4 boost on the striker scoring and a home win available here - but there is value in the 6/1 on O'Nien scoring anytime if he is further up the pitch.
He does have a tally of four goals and three assists from midfield this season too, demonstrating an ability to find the net when the opportunity presents itself.
Darren Drysdale in the referee here and that could mean that we see cards. Particularly shown to Accrington, who have a tendency to pick up bookings when they are losing away from home.
They saw two yellows in the defeat to Scunthorpe, while there were four yellows and a red away at Charlton. At Bradford, there were six yellows and a red and the loss at Luton brought three cautions.
Expect similar tallies here with Stanley fancied to be on the back foot throughout. It's been a frustrating 2019 for Accrington too with their last goal (excluding the Checkatrade Trophy) coming on Boxing Day.
Ben Richards-Everton has been limited to just eight games this season, but the defender has been shown three yellow cards in that time. The 27-year-old has started their last two games and could play the full 90 minutes again here.
Bet365 have him at 13/5 to pick up a card here which looks great value. Despite the injury to Watmore, Sunderland do have options to choice from in the attacking positions and the Accrington foul count should be high. With Grigg a handful for defenders, one is bound to overstep the mark in an attempt to stop him from scoring.
As previously said, a home win looks great value at 4/5. Sunderland have been drawing a lot of games but this one should be three points given the contrasting form.
It should be a convincing win as well and that's why the 11/4 available with Sky Bet on Sunderland scoring 3+ goals is also worth a consideration.
Score prediction: Sunderland 3-0 Accrington (Sky Bet odds: 12/1)
- This will be the first ever meeting between Sunderland and Accrington Stanley, after this season’s reverse fixture at Accrington was abandoned due to a waterlogged pitch.
- Accrington Stanley will be the 93rd different opponent that Sunderland have faced in English league competition.
- Sunderland have lost just one of their last 22 league games (W11 D10), although six of their last eight have been drawn (W2).
- Accrington’s current run of six games without a goal is the longest run in the English top four tiers this season.
- Sunderland have gained a league-high 18 points from losing positions in League One this season, most recently coming from 1-0 down to draw 1-1 versus Blackpool in midweek.