The three big calls for Jack Ross to make as Sunderland look to get straight back to winning ways

Sunderland's long winning run came to an end last weekend but they remain in fine form ahead of the trip to Walsall.

Friday, 23rd November 2018, 9:21 am
Updated Friday, 23rd November 2018, 9:25 am
Max Power could return for Sunderland this weekend

They are unbeaten in 12 and despite some injury worries, the squad generally is in good order.

So what are the big calls for Jack Ross to make?

We run through three of the main ones...

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Josh Maja’s return would seem a formality after his goalscoring heroics last weekend.

The 19-year-old had a short lean spell in front of goal but bounced back in fine fashion.

That Jerome Sinclair is struggling with an injury only underlines Maja’s case for selection.

If fit, though, Sinclair has shown that he can be a very important player, particularly away from home when his strength and willingness to play in the channels has been vital.

It is perhaps not as easy a decision as it looks but nevertheless, the timing seems right for Maja to lead the line from the start again.


Switching one left-back for another would ordinarily seem a strange move when chasing a game but last weekend it made total sense.

Bryan Oviedo has a natural instinct for playing high up the pitch and his quality in the final third is very good.

Ross praised his cameo post-match and so the Costa Rican will be in his thoughts for Saturday.

The problem for Oviedo is that Reece James has not put a foot wrong and particularly away from home, is probably the more reliable defender.

Dropping him now would risk disrupting a defensive unit that by and large has delivered impressive results.


After impressing off the bench against Wycombe, Max Power looks certain to return to the starting XI.

His physicality and drive on the ball look like they will be vital if the Black Cats are to achieve promotion.

The biggest question is how he fits into the team.

Dylan McGeouch would be the obvious player to make way but Ross might want to add extra control to the midfield area and it’s possible he could sacrifice one of his four attackers to do so.

Chris Maguire has a niggle and so that may pave the way for Power to come back in a slightly revamped system.

That would probably see George Honeyman pushed slightly futher forward, though his best performances this season have come in his current central midfield berth.

It is a interesting dilemma for Ross, searching for the balance between ensuring Sunderland can win the physical battle in the middle of the pitch and maintaining a regular goalscoring threat.

He would be loathe to drop any of his most incisive attacking options, even after a poor showing from many of them last time out.