Sunderland vs Leicester City: Preview and Prediction

Seeking to snap a three-game losing run in the Championship, leaders Leicester City will look to get back on track on Tuesday when they pay a visit to playoff hopefuls Sunderland.

Sunderland will host Leicester City at the Stadium of Light in the Championship on Tuesday night, with both teams struggling at the moment.

The Black Cats failed to respond to Josh Sargent’s late goal on Saturday, losing 1-0 away to an in-form Norwich side. Mike Dodds’s men have now suffered four successive league defeats and have tumbled out of contention for the playoffs as a result, dropping down to 10th in the table.

They desperately need to get their house in order sooner rather than later if they have any lingering hopes of a return to playoff contention heading into the final 11 games of the season.

Like their hosts, Leicester City are also suffering from their worst run of results of the ongoing season. The Foxes have lost three Championship matches on the bounce, all but wiping out their considerable lead at the top of the second-tier table in the process.

Enzo Maresca’s side sit just three points clear of second-placed Ipswich Town, and five clear of Leeds in third, fighting for the second and final automatic promotion place. Leicester City were 1-0 winners when the teams met at the King Power Stadium back in October, with James Justin scoring the goal. The Hard Tackle looks at how both sides could line up on Sunday and what tactics they might employ.

Team News & Tactics


Mike Dodds will continue in a caretaker manager capacity for the Black Cats after the sacking of Michael Beale back in mid-February after just two months in charge. Sunderland’s playoff hopes have taken another huge hit, with news emerging that the in-demand Jack Clarke will be out for up to six weeks because of ankle ligament damage.

Also playing a massive part in the Black Cats’ top-six finish last season, Patrick Roberts is currently in the medical room recovering from a hamstring strain, meaning Jobe Bellingham and Luis Semedo should start up front. Dodds is unable to call on the services of first-choice full-back Niall Huggins, who is out for the remainder of the term because of a serious injury.

Timothee Pembele may make a rare start in midweek after Trai Hume picked up his tenth yellow card of the season last time out. Abdoullah Ba and Nazarii Rusyn could also enjoy starts after featuring from the bench on Saturday.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Patterson; Hume, Seelt, O’Nien, Hjelde; Styles, Ekwah, Neil, Mundle; Bellingham, Semedo

Leicester City

Jamie Vardy will be assessed after a knock, but Wilfred Ndidi will remain on the sidelines for this contest, while Dennis Praet and Ricardo Pereira are out with hamstring injuries. Enzo Maresca can welcome back Jannik Vestergaard, though, as the Danish centre-back returns after serving a suspension.

Maresca will retain his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation for the game. Mads Hermansen is a reliable last line of defence for the Foxes and should start in goal behind the back four of Hamza Choudhury, Wout Faes, Vestergaard, and James Justin.

Harry Winks continues to impress in midfield and will retain his spot in the double-pivot alongside Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, who will be tasked with carrying the ball forward and crafting opportunities for the attackers. Abdul Fatawu Issahaku and Stephy Mavididi should start out wide, with Yunus Akgun and Patson Daka completing the attacking quartet.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Hermansen; Choudhury, Faes, Vestergaard, Justin; Winks, Dewsbury-Hall; Fatawu, Akgun, Mavididi; Daka

Key Stats

  • Sunderland have just one win in their last seven meetings against Leicester City, suffering four losses.
  • Sunderland have lost their last four Championship matches.
  • Sunderland have just one win in their last four home meetings against Leicester, failing to score in two games.
  • Leicester City have scored one goal apiece in their last four games in all competitions, suffering three losses.
  • There have been over 2.5 goals in seven of Leicester’s last nine games and in six of Sunderland’s last nine games too.

Player to Watch

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall

Embed from Getty Images

With former protagonists James Maddison and Youri Tielemans moving onto greener pastures last summer, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall has assumed the lead role of Leicester City’s production under the direction of Enzo Maresca.

Pulling the strings from a more advanced role this term, the 25-year-old has been one of the EFL’s best showmen so far, scoring ten goals and laying down 12 assists in the process, placing him near the top of the club’s charts in both key attacking measures.

Dewsbury-Hall has been an integral part of Leicester City’s stunning form in the EFL Championship this season, and that is why the Foxes fought hard to keep him around in January despite strong Premier League interest.


Sunderland 1-2 Leicester City

Sunderland will feel that they have the opportunity to become the latest team to overcome the Foxes. However, Enzo Maresca’s side knows they only have a little cushion at the top of the table and can ill-afford another defeat, leading us to predict a hard-earned away victory. The Hard Tackle goes for a 2-1 triumph for Leicester City over Sunderland.

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