Sunderland vs Millwall Preview: Black Cats looking to move out of relegation zone against fellow strugglers

Sunderland could achieve an unwanted accolade should they fail to win on Saturday afternoon.

Sunderland vs Millwall Preview: Black Cats looking to move out of relegation zone against fellow strugglers
(Photo: Ian Horrocks / Getty Images)

Sunderland host Millwall in the Championship on Saturday in a game that could see the Black Cats on their way to an unwanted accolade should they fail to beat the struggling Lions.

The Wearsiders have gone 19 competitive games without winning at the Stadium of Light and have just three more home games in which to secure three points or else achieve the unwanted accolade of having gone a full calendar year without a home win.

Black Cats on verge of announcing new manager

The major rumour on Wearside in recent hours has been that Wales manager Chris Coleman is set to take over as Sunderland's new boss, according to Sky Sports News.

For now however, Robbie Stockdale remains in caretaker charge after overseeing a 1-0 defeat at Middlesbrough before the international break.

The problems are still clear to see for the Black Cats as scoring goals hasn't been an issue, keeping them out at the other end however has been more than just a problem. Sunderland have conceded 31 league goals so far this season with only Burton Albion conceding more on 34

Up front however they still have players who can cause Millwall a few problems, with Aiden McGeady and Lewis Grabban each providing a clear threat in the Wearsiders' attack with four and eight league goals respectively.

Caretaker boss Stockdale told the Sunderland Echo that he "can only concentrate on the next game" amidst the managerial speculation, adding that he has had no conversations with the club regarding the position as he "wanted the clarity of mind to prepare for the game as best I can."

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Lions' away struggles see them dragged into potential relegation battle

While Sunderland have been unable to win at home, their opponents Millwall are yet to win away this season with five defeats and four draws to their name across all competitions.

The Lions have won just once in their last six games - a 2-0 win over Birmingham City - after showing promise in a four-match unbeaten run that included victory over Leeds United and an away draw to Preston North End.

A large amount of Millwall's goals this season have come from the midfield area, with central midfielder George Saville the club's top-scorer with four league goals with winger Jed Wallace has three strikes to his name.

Manager Neil Harris told millwallfc.co.uk that he felt "robbed" following their 1-0 home defeat to Burton Albion, adding "this weekend is a great opportunity" for his side to "turn solid performances into results".

Team news

The hosts are without a couple of defensive players for Saturday's game with Billy Jones and Lamine Koné out injured, although Tyias Browning and Duncan Watmore have returned to training and could be involved.

Midfielder Didier Ndong could miss the match after being allowed compassionate leave due to a family bereavement.

Millwall are without winger Wallace due to the suspension he picked up following his sending off against Burton Albion, but other than that Harris has a full squad to choose from.

Predicted line-ups

Sunderland (4-2-3-1): Ruiter; Oviedo, O'Shea, Wilson, Matthews; Cattermole, Ndong; Watmore, Honeyman, McGeady; Grabban.

Millwall (4-4-2): Archer; McLaughlin, Hutchinson, Craig, Meredith; Thompson, Tunnicliffe, Saville, O'Brien; Gregory, Morison.