How Morecambe will set up against Sunderland for crucial League One clash - including team news, predicted line-up and key players

Sunderland will head to Morecambe on the final day of the regular League One season – but what can the Black Cats expect?
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A win for Alex Neil’s side at the Mazuma Stadium would secure a play-off place, while Morecambe are fighting to avoid relegation and are just two points above the drop zone.

To find out more we caught up with Derek Quinn who writes for our sister title the Lancaster Guardian to get the inside track:

It's one win in four, but how have Morecambe been playing?

Morecambe striker Cole Stockton (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)Morecambe striker Cole Stockton (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Morecambe striker Cole Stockton (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
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DQ: “Morecambe have actually been playing quite well, much better than when they travelled to Sunderland earlier in the season and were hammered.

"They were excellent in a 3-0 win over Burton and showed guts and determination to beat Oxford at home and Charlton away, and were the better team in a 1-1 draw against Portsmouth on Easter Monday.

"They were poor at MK Dons last Saturday though and need to up their game on Saturday.”

What formation are they likely to play?

DQ: “They have largely been playing 4-3-3 in recent weeks though it is flexible.

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"If you look at the stats they are comfortable with the opposition having a greater share of possession and working openings when they can, especially on the counter where they have the likes of Cole Stockton and Dylan Connolly.”

Who are their key players?

DQ: “The key player has undoubtedly been Cole Stockton with 26 goals this season, many of them being superb strikes.

"He has been their saviour in many ways and been the difference between Morecambe and a few other clubs at the wrong end of the table.

How are supporters feeling ahead of such an important match?

DQ: “There are undoubtedly a few nerves but they do realise they have a cushion over Gillingham and Fleetwood who will both have to win their games, even if Morecambe lose.

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"Being a Morecambe fan is never easy and a few seasons ago they had to get a draw on the last day of the season at Coventry to survive in the Football League and although things are not as bad as that there will be a few nerves around the Mazuma Stadium.”

What’s your predicted line-up?

DQ: “Carson; Leigh, Bedeau, Bennett, Gibson; Diagouraga, Fane, Phillips; Connolly, Stockton, Gnahoua.”