Why the Sunderland juggernaut will take some stopping and how they should look to exploit this Plymouth weakness
The longest trip of the season to Plymouth beckons for Sunderland and their amazingly loyal away fans but distance does not seem to matter to them as they will be there in numbers as usual.
The team has rewarded that loyalty so far with their away performances and if they can make it four away wins in a row, that long exhausting journey back to Wearside will still be long and exhausting but much more enjoyable.
When Sunderland’s recent home game with Blackpool was called off it worried me that it left Sunderland with three tough consecutive games on the road and a weekend off when everybody else seemed to pick up points, and there was a danger that Sunderland might pay the price by slipping down the table and losing momentum.
However, those three tough away games became three wins and maximum points that keeps Sunderland very much up there with a game in hand.
Those last three away games at Bradford City, Shrewsbury and Doncaster Rovers all had a common theme; Sunderland certainly didn’t play sparkling football but the players dug deep, refused to accept second best and ended up winners.
That sort of desire is what is pleasing the fans at the moment, they know this squad isn’t the most talented they have seen but these players can’t believe their luck that they are at such a great club and are giving everything.
With the club finally doing and saying the right things, the players proud to wear the red and white shirt and the fans recognising all this and back on side, then when all those factors come together. As Peterborough boss Steve Evans said, Sunderland become a juggernaut and they should take some stopping.
Plymouth Argyle, though, will be doing everything possible to stop that juggernaut.
They are in the relegation zone but they have won their last two games and will see beating a team like Sunderland a huge boost for their morale and in getting out of trouble.
In one of their recent home games against Burton Albion, they conceded three goals and all were from set pieces so there is an obvious weakness there that Sunderland – if they get their corners and free-kicks right – can exploit.
Jack Ross has genuine competition for starting places for the Plymouth game – his bench last Saturday has players who would walk in to other side’s in this league.
And with Max Power back soon and hopefully Charlie Wyke and Duncan Watmore too, that bench will just get stronger giving the manager even more options.