How Shrewsbury Town will set up against Sunderland and how former Cats defender Tom Flanagan has fared

Sunderland will face Shrewsbury Town at the Stadium of Light this afternoon – but what can Alex Neil’s side expect?

Friday, 15th April 2022, 11:52 am

The Shrews, managed by former Black Cats assistant Steve Cotterill, are 16th in the League One table and clear of the relegation zone with four games remaining.

They do have one of the best defensive records in the division, though, meaning it could be difficult for Sunderland to break them down.

Neil’s side need the points as they battle to finish in the League One play-off places, with the margin for error still slim, despite last weekend’s late winner at Oxford.

Shrewsbury forward Daniel Udoh. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

To find out more about Shrewsbury we caught up with Ollie Warner from the Salopcast Podcast to get the inside track:

What is Shrewsbury’s form like heading into the match?

OW: “Shrewsbury’s form going into this game is actually pretty good and I haven’t been able to say that too often this season.

“In the last six we have won three (Morecambe, Rotherham and Lincoln), lost two (Oxford and MK Dons) and last Saturday we drew at home against Ipswich.

“However I fear we reverted back to type against Ipswich as we created very few chances.”

Who are their key players?

OW: “Daniel Udoh has been a revelation this season. He is an all action forward, linking up play, making good runs and scoring goals.

“When Udoh is on form, we are on form. His twelve League One goals is a huge improvement on last season when he only scored four.

“Marko Marosi has been an impressive figure in goal since signing from Coventry in the summer. Salop have 13 clean sheets and Marosi has played a huge role in Salop having one of the best defensive records in the division.

“Luke Leahy has been transformed from a left-back into one of the most effective midfielders in the division. He is a good passer of the ball, he is a good leader and his eight goals and six assists have been vital.”

What system are they likely to play?

OW: “Shrewsbury are likely to line up in a 3-4-3 formation.

They have most success playing counter attacking football and are comfortable allowing the opposition to have the ball.

“We have actually struggled against sides like Crewe, Doncaster and Gillingham, but have taken four points off Sheffield Wednesday.

“Sunderland are likely to have the majority of possession on Friday.

How has former SAFC defender Tom Flanagan fared since his January move?

OW: “Flanagan has been a great signing, he is a very good League One defender.

He has settled in straight away, playing left centre-back.

His ability on the ball has given Shrewsbury a good balance with Matthew Pennington playing right centre-back. Both players are comfortable on the ball and have the ability to start attacks from the back.

“I think signing Flanagan was a smart move for Shrewsbury, he will be a key player for us next season.”

What’s your predicted line–up?

OW: “(3-4-3) Marosi; Pennington, Flanagan, Leahy; Bennett, Fornah, Vela, Nurse; Bloxham, Udoh, Bowman