Lincoln City v Sunderland: The three dangermen - including ex-SAFC midfielder - to watch in play-off semi-final
Sunderland are preparing for the play-offs against Lincoln City – but which players do the Black Cats need to watch out for?
Here, we take you through Lincoln City’s key men as the first leg against the Black Cats next Wednesday edges ever closer:
The 26-year-old midfielder has enjoyed a stellar season for Lincoln City and has been central to their success this campaign.
The former Nottingham Forest man has bagged a whopping 17 goals in all competitions from the middle of the park – an impressive feat.
But it isn’t just scoring goals that makes Grant so dangerous.
The Englishman has also bagged 11 assists for The Imps this campaign taking his contribution for the season to 28 goal involvements.
Keeping Grant quiet, you feel, will be crucial in Lee Johnson’s thinking.
Indeed it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Grant Leadbitter deployed against Lincoln City once more in order to nullify the threat of Grant.
A name familiar to Sunderland fans, Liam Bridcutt enjoyed a stint at Sunderland – who were then a Premier League side – between 2014 and 2016.
But the 32-year-old has now cemented himself as a key man in Michael Appleton’s midfield for Lincoln City and is now at the club on a permanent deal following an impressive loan spell.
Indeed, The Imps have only lost five times in the 27 matches that the Scot has started in all competitions, with one of those defeats coming against last season’s Premier League champions Liverpool in the FA Cup.
Although Bridcutt has featured less than he perhaps should have owing to injury, there is no doubt that his experience and quality makes him a huge asset to Lincoln City in the upcoming League One play-off semi-finals.
Joe Walsh has had a decent season for Lincoln City in League One this season.
Indeed the 29-year-old’s signing of a long-term deal at Sincil Bank last March reflects his worth to Appleton’s side.
At the time, Appleton branded Walsh one of the best central defenders in League One and it’s hard to disagree given his performances when fit this campaign.
If Lincoln are to stop the threat of Aiden McGeady and Charlie Wyke, Walsh will surely play a massive part in his team’s efforts.