The Black Cats welcome Stoke City to the Stadium of Light for their first Checkatrade trophy fixture of the season.

Jack Ross will have been happy and disappointed with Sunderland’s draw at the weekend with Oxford, as the home side rescued a point despite being a man and a goal down.

The performance was poor and Sunderland were second best in every aspect other than the foul count.

That being said, Oxford deserve great credit for their performance as they looked the far better side from the first whistle.

Charlie Wyke bagged the important equaliser and preserved Sunderland’s unbeaten start to the season in front of over 32,000 fans.

Stoke City U21s come to the Stadium of Light in what should be a rather bizarre fixture; fans of both sides will wonder how this is a competitive fixture since they were both Premier League sides just two seasons ago.

Sunderland lineup

The strict competition rules mean that Sunderland will have to field a reasonably strong side for this match.

That being said, we know that Bryan Oviedo and Bali Mumba will miss out as they are both away on international duty while Max Power is suspended after his red card at the weekend.

Therefore Dylan McGeouch should get his first competitive start for Sunderland in central midfield and he could possibly line up with Ethan Robson, who has yet to feature for Jack Ross this season.

Defensively, Donald Love should drop out as he has been carrying a knock recently, while Reece James should be brought in at left back to cover for the missing Oviedo.

Ross could be tempted to play Robbin Ruiter, though he may go for continuity between the sticks like he did in the League Cup last month.

Prediction: Sunderland 3-0 Stoke

It may seem arrogant to predict such a comprehensive win for Sunderland, but there should be a gulf in class between the two sides.

The Black Cats will also be a bit like a wounded animal after they dropped points against Oxford at the weekend.