Sunderland vs Millwall predictions: Black Cats to gain crucial win
- Sunderland are 15th in the Championship but only four points off the play-off places
- Millwall have not won at the Stadium of Light since 2003
- Recommended bet: Sunderland to win
Championship football will not return in its entirety until next weekend but Sunderland and Millwall have agreed to play their rescheduled fixture this Saturday, affording both the opportunity to gain vital ground.
A home win for Sunderland would lift them from 15th to 10th, while success for Millwall would see them climb from sixth to fourth — leaving them only four points adrift of the automatic promotion places.
Sunderland will have to make do without central defender Bailey Wright and winger Jewison Bennette, who have been with the Australia and Costa Rica squads at the World Cup.
Defender Aji Alese (foot) is back in contention but there are doubts over Ross Stewart (hamstring), who is back in training but short of match fitness.
Millwall are likely to be short of options in attacking areas. Tyler Burey has been struggling with illness and will not be ready to start, while Benik Afobe (knee) is also struggling and has not featured since the end of October.
Sunderland won two of their last three fixtures before the World Cup break and are looking to achieve back-to-back Championship wins for the first time this season.
However, Tony Mowbray's side have been finding life difficult at the Stadium of Light and have won just one of five home fixtures since the end of August.
Millwall were excellent in the five weeks leading up to the World Cup, taking 17 points from eight games.
The Lions collected just two points from their first six road trips but they have taken maximum points from two of their last three away games, including last month's 4-2 victory at Preston.
Sunderland will be anxious to improve their home record (two wins from nine) and they can take a big step forward by defeating Millwall.
Adjusting to the step up from League One football was never going to be an easy process and the Black Cats' task got even tougher in August when their former manager, Alex Neil, left them for Stoke.
However, Neil's replacement, Tony Mowbray, has done an excellent job of steadying the ship and he could be eyeing up a play-off push in the new year.
Mowbray's plans were disrupted by injuries to his first choice strikers Ross Stewart and Ellis Simms, but he kept the team competitive.
Simms returned to the fray in the weeks leading up to the World Cup and bagged the opening goal in an impressive 2-1 success at Birmingham.
However, he was soon upstaged by Manchester United loanee Amad Diallo, who produced a stunning finish to silence the majority of supporters at St Andrew's.
Millwall will have to keep a close eye on Simms, Diallo and winger Jack Clarke, who has impressed since arriving from Tottenham in a permanent deal, and the Lions may struggle to find a response at the other end.
Dutch attacking midfielder Zian Flemming was Millwall's star player in the run up to the World Cup with eight goals in his last 11 matches, but, if he can be kept quiet, Sunderland would be well on course to take maximum points and are 6/4 to achieve this with LiveScore Bet.