Scout report: Why Sunderland should not underestimate League One strugglers Plymouth Argyle

On paper, Sunderland's clash with Plymouth Argyle may look like a foregone conclusion.

Friday, 2nd November 2018, 11:35 am
Updated Friday, 2nd November 2018, 4:08 pm
Plymouth manager Derek Adams.

Jack Ross' side have won their last four league games and are on the cusp of the automatic promotion places, while The Pilgrims are languishing in the relegation zone.

But the Black Cats shouldn't underestimate tomorrow's opponents, who have scored seven goals in their last two league fixtures.

Plymouth manager Derek Adams.

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We take a closer look at Derek Adams' side ahead of the game at Home Park.

What system will Plymouth play?

Despite their difficult start to the season, Plymouth have tried to play open and expansive football for most of the campaign.

In recent weeks, The Pilgrims have lined up in a 4-3-3 formation, with Graham Carey and Joel Grant supporting top scorer Freddie Ladapo.

Manager Derek Adams encourages the rest of his team to support the 6 ft 2 striker, who can hold the ball up in the final third and bring others into play.

Who are Plymouth’s key players?

After signing for Argyle in the summer, Ladapo scored just twice in his first 13 appearances.

Since then, the 25-year-old has grabbed six goals in his last five games, and is currently the division's in form striker.

Carey and Ruben Lameiras have also added to the side's goal tally, while goalkeeper Matt Macey has played every league game this season after signing on loan from Arsenal.

Do Plymouth have any injury worries?

Australian centre-back Ryan Edwards will miss the game with a chest infection, while long-term absentees Ryan Taylor, Gary Sawyer and Joe Riley are still out injured.

Defender Scott Wootton was expected to return but remains out with a thigh problem.

Who is Plymouth’s manager and what can we expect from them?Adams took charge at Home Park in 2015 and guided The Pilgrims to the League Two play-off final in his first season.

The following campaign, Adams led Argyle to a second-place finish to win promotion from the fourth tier.

Before he moved to England, Adams managed Scottish side Ross County, where he locked horns with Sunderland manager Jack Ross.

"He has done exceptionally well since he came from Scottish football to Plymouth," said Ross.

"I know it’s been publicized the amount of criticism he’s received recently and how positive an impact he’s had at the club can be overlooked."What form have Plymouth been in?The Pilgrims were rock bottom of League One just a couple of weeks ago after failing to win any of their opening 11 league games.

However, Argyle's form has picked up following their first victory of the season, against Wimbledon on October 6.

They will face Sunderland after recording back-to-back league wins against Gillingham and Scunthorpe, winning 3-1 and 4-1 respectively.

Adams' side have moved up to 22nd in the table, but are now just one point from safety.

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