U23 Preview: Young Lads make Boro visit

Sunderland Under-23s are back in action on Sunday afternoon, facing Middlesbrough at Rockliffe Park (KO 12pm).


The lunchtime game at Boro’s training ground will see the young Lads look to build on victory in the week over Reading, with Mike Dodds and Michael Proctor’s side currently sitting eighth in the Premier League 2 Division 2 table – four points above the Teessiders, who have also played two more games.


A younger side than previously this season is expected to feature in the contest, with an increasing number of U23 players gaining senior experience on loan. Jacob Carney is in line to start in goal following Thorben Hoffmann’s return to the first-team fold, and Jack McIntyre’s recent short-term loan switch to Radcliffe Borough.


Caden Kelly could lead the line in attack after impressive recent performances, with Cieran Dunne and Benji Kimpioka being monitored in their Covid-19 recoveries. Patrick Almond’s loan to Blyth Spartans means Henry Fieldson may partner Cameron Jessup at centre-half – fellow scholars Zak Johnson and Harrison Jones are also likely to be involved. U23 regulars Harrison Sohna, Tom Scott and Ethan Kachosa are among those who can be expected to start on Teesside.


Middlesbrough have endured sticky patches during their PL2 season so far, sitting third from bottom of an admittedly tight division. They were however victorious in their last outing, overcoming Aston Villa 2-1 at Bodymoor Heath last Monday. They have not yet drawn a game this campaign, winning five and losing 11. One of their most impressive displays this season so far did actually come against the young Lads, as former Sunderland player Josh Coburn netted twice at the Academy of Light back in September with Boro taking home a 3-1 win.


Coverage of the match from Rockliffe Park will take place via the club’s official Twitter account, @SunderlandAFC

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