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League One | Gameweek 38
Mar 12, 2022 at 3pm UK
Stadium of Light
Crewe Alexandra
2 - 0
Neill (84'), Roberts (89')
Gooch (29'), Wright (74'), Cirkin (75'), Dajaku (90+1'), Clarke (90+6')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Williams (66'), Lundstram (68'), Lowery (76')

Preview: Sunderland vs. Crewe Alexandra - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's League One clash between Sunderland and Crewe Alexandra, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Sunderland will look to extend their unbeaten to five matches when they welcome Crewe Alexandra to the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

The visitors, meanwhile, sit bottom of the pile in League One after losing nine of their last 10 matches.

Match preview

Sunderland's Luke O'Nien celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on March 8, 2022© Reuters

Sunderland enter Saturday's contest in fifth position, but with two points separating them from seventh-placed Wycombe Wanderers, Alex Neil will be fully aware that his side can not afford a drop in form.

The Black Cats have impressed in recent encounters after picking up eight points from their last four matches, and they will be aiming for consecutive victories on Saturday following their 3-1 home win over Fleetwood Town in midweek.

Neil's side trailed at half time after Ellis Harrison opened the scoring, but Sunderland demonstrated their quality in the second period to claim all three points thanks to goals from Elliot Embleton, Luke O'Nien and Jack Clarke.

Despite their promising run of form, Sunderland have experienced mixed results on home turf in recent matches, with their last six home games yielding three defeats, two victories and a draw.

However, they still boast the third-best home record in League One this term after collecting 38 points from their 18 league matches at the Stadium of Light, and that home form will be crucial in their quest to finish in the playoffs.

Crewe Alexandra's Christopher Long shoots at goal on January 12, 2022© Reuters

At the other end of the table, Crewe's two-season stay in League One looks to be drawing to a close with the Railwaymen sitting rock bottom of the league table.

Eight points adrift of safety with only 10 matches left to play, David Artell's side require a great escape if they are to beat the drop this season.

Recent results suggest that such a feat is unlikely, with Crewe collecting the lowest points tally of any side in League One in 2022.

Only Doncaster Rovers (72) and Morecambe (67) have conceded more goals than the Railwaymen (66) this term, and their defensive fragility was on full display in midweek when they suffered a 3-1 defeat at home to Portsmouth.

After playing consecutive home games, Crewe will now take to the road, and they will be looking to draw inspiration from the 2-1 victory that they picked up against Cheltenham Town in their most recent away trip.

Sunderland League One form:
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W

Crewe Alexandra League One form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L

Team News

Sunderland manager Alex Neil on March 8, 2022© Reuters

Neil has utilised different formations since taking over as Sunderland boss, including a half-time switch to a back three in Tuesday's win over Fleetwood, and he is expected to opt for three centre-backs once again on Saturday.

O'Nien may have earned himself a starting berth after scoring in his 20-minute appearance in the midweek win over Fleetwood.

Ross Stewart will once again lead the line as the current League One top scorer looks to add to his 22-goal tally.

As for the visitors, they are still without the services of Ben Knight and Scott Kashket due to injury issues.

Rekeem Harper could be in contention for a starting place after being introduced in the second half against Portsmouth.

Meanwhile, Chris Long has scored two goals in his last three games, and he will be looking to find the net once again when he partners Chris Porter upfront on Saturday.

Sunderland possible starting lineup:
Patterson; Winchester, Wright, Xhemajli; Gooch, Matete, O'Nien, Cirkin; Embleton, Clarke, Stewart

Crewe Alexandra possible starting lineup:
Richards; Johnson, O'Riordan, Offord; Agyei, Murphy, Harper, Lowery, Lundstram; Porter, Long

SM words green background

We say: Sunderland 3-0 Crewe Alexandra

With Sunderland unbeaten in their last four matches, we think that the hosts will make light work of a Crewe side, who are bereft of confidence after losing nine of their previous 10 games.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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Data Analysis

Our analysis of all available data, including recent performances and player stats up until an hour before kickoff, suggested the most likely outcome of this match was a Sunderland win with a probability of 76.12%. A draw had a probability of 15.1% and a win for Crewe Alexandra had a probability of 8.78%.

The most likely scoreline for a Sunderland win was 2-0 with a probability of 12.2%. The next most likely scorelines for that outcome were 3-0 (10.26%) and 1-0 (9.68%). The likeliest drawn scoreline was 1-1 (7.15%), while for a Crewe Alexandra win it was 0-1 (2.84%). The actual scoreline of 2-0 was predicted with a 12.2% likelihood. Our data analysis correctly predicted a 2-0 win for Sunderland in this match and our team at Sports Mole correctly predicted the win for Sunderland.

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Game History

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