Scout report: Why Sunderland might be welcoming in form Plymouth Argyle at a good time
Sunderland will welcome in form Plymouth Argyle to the Stadium of Light tomorrow afternoon - but what should they expect?
The Pilgrims were rock bottom of League One at the turn of the year, yet a run of just one defeat in 10 league games has seen Derek Adams' side climb the table in recent months.
Argyle will arrive on Wearside high on confidence following a 5-1 win over Rochdale last time out, but could be without one of their star players against the Black Cats.
We take a closer look at the Pilgrims ahead of this weekend's clash.
What system will Plymouth play?
As shown by last weekend's 5-1 win over Rochdale, Plymouth aren't short of attacking firepower.
Argyle have consistently lined-up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with 6 ft 2 striker Freddie Ladapo providing a focal point up front.
The Pilgrims are also capable of sitting back and making themselves difficult to beat, which they showed during a 1-0 win at Peterborough earlier this month.
Midfield duo David Fox and Yann Songo'o have formed a solid partnership in midfield and allow Argyle's attacking players to flourish.
Who are Plymouth’s key players?
Aside from Ladapo, who is Argyle's top scorer with 15 goals this campaign, wingers Ruben Lameiras and Graham Carey have been influential this season.
The pair provide both pace and quality on the break, which has been backed up by their impressive stats this term.
Lameiras has scored 11 times in all competitions this season, as well as providing four assists.
Meanwhile Carey has set up nine goals this campaign, while also scoring four himself.
Do Plymouth have any injury concerns?
The Pilgrims are sweating over the fitness of Ladapo, who has missed training with a thigh problem this week.
Ladapo, 26, will travel to Wearside but a late decision will be made on his fitness.
Adams will be forced to make at least one change, with midfielder Antoni Sarcevic set to start a two-game ban for picking up 10 yellow cards.
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 year, 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 boss Jack Ross.
What form have Plymouth been in?
Following a 1-1 draw with Burton on December 29, Plymouth sat bottom of the table, three points adrift of safety.
Since then The Pilgrims have won six games out of nine in League One, a run which has seen them rise to 14th in the table.
Last month, Adams' side took points off both Portsmouth and Peterborough to move away from the drop zone.
Last six league games: WLWDDW