Sunderland vs Oxford [League One]
Sunderland vs Oxford [15:00 BST]
Jack Ross included four of his five summer signings in the starting XI on the opening day, with debuts for Conor McLaughlin, Jordan Willis, George Dobson, and on-loan Reading striker Marc McNulty.
The fifth, goalkeeper Lee Burge, was on the bench.
Elliot Embleton made his first league start for the Black Cats, while Ross gave the captain’s armband to keeper Jon McLaughlin.
As expected, Aiden McGeady, Chris Maguire, and Duncan Watmore – all of whom have missed part of pre-season due to injuries – were passed fit only to be included on the bench.
Oxford United boss Karl Robinson gave starts to four new signings, including ex-Sunderland youngster Alex Gorrin.
Other new signings making the debuts are Tariq Fosu, and on-loan Liverpool striker Ben Woodburn, and on-loan Columbus Crew midfielder Chris Cadden.
J McLaughlin, C McLaughlin, Willis, Flanagan, Gooch, Dobson, McGeouch, Hume, Embleton, Grigg, McNulty
Burge, Ozturk, Maguire, O’Nien, Watmore, McGeady, Leadbitter
Oxford danger men:
Chris Cadden - defender/midfielder
After leaving Motherwell this summer, Cadden was linked with a move to Sunderland. He ended up joining Columbus Crew and then moved to Oxford on loan for the season. a tenacious player, he can attack and defend in equal measure and will likely be the player Karl Robinson hopes makes his side tick in the midfield today.
Ben Woodburn - winger
Joined on loan from Liverpool during the week so it’s unknown whether he’ll be ready to start today, but he’ll certainly be in the squad. The young Wales international was targeted by Chris Coleman during his time at Sunderland but no move ever materialised. After a disappointing loan spell at Sheffield United last term, Woodburn will have a point to prove this season and there’s no doubting he’d love to get off to a good start today.
Jamie Mackie - striker
Currently the only striker on Oxford’s books, Mackie is an experienced battler who never makes life easy for defenders. Earlier in his career he moved from QPR to Nottingham Forest for £1m in a time where teams in the Championship weren’t spending the kind of money they are now. He’s a handful, and Sunderland’s defenders can’t let him bully them.
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