This season has been a tough one for Sunderland fans. Whilst they all expected to walk League One and make it back to the Championship with some pride restored after suffering a double relegation, it hasn’t been plain sailing and after a 0-0 draw at Oakwell Jack Ross’ side will be keen to bounce back with a win against Walsall.
When looking at both the Sunderland and Walsall squad who will be going at it later today, two ex-top flight wingers stick out. The first of those is Aiden McGeady, who has been in flying form for the Black Cats this season with ten goals and five assists to his name. The other of the two is Walsall’s on-loan Norwich winger, Matt Jarvis, who has hardly set League One alight with just a single assist this season.
Sunderland fans have come to love McGeady. The 93-cap Republic of Ireland winger is in superb form and has come to make the Stadium of Light his home in his time in the Northeast. When the Black Cats signed the winger from Everton in summer of 2017 Sunderland were in the Premier League, yet less than two years later he’s stuck by the club and now looks set to become a hero by helping them gain promotion.
At the age of 32, McGeady still has plenty of life left in him. The skilful winger made a name for himself at Celtic and Spartak Moscow before trying his luck in the English footballing system. Famed for his ‘McGeady spin’ trick that has so often been seen turning full-backs inside out, the winger is still going strong and after picking up the League One player of the month award for February, he’s surely set to shine against Walsall today.
TT GRADE: A
To a lot of football fans, Matt Jarvis is a name that not many will realise is still kicking about in League One. However, the ex-West Ham United and Wolves winger is still going at the age of 32-years-old and is now on-loan at Walsall having failed to make a dent on Daniel Farke’s Norwich side. However, so far, having joined Walsall in January, he’s had little impact with just nine appearances.
The veteran Englishman, who has one cap to his name for the Three Lions, doesn’t look like making the most of his time on loan in League One. Dean Keates looks to have seen enough of the veteran in his first nine outings as Jarvis has failed to make the squad for both of the club’s last two games against Portsmouth and Fleetwood, and it would take a miracle for him to be used and influence the game against the Black Cats.
TT GRADE: D
This is one game that fans are expecting to be routine for the Mackems, and if it comes down to a direct battle between McGeady and Jarvis then there really can only be one winner. Be it goals, assists or any other stat of your choosing, it’s near impossible to find anything that would give evidence that Jarvis can overcome McGeady later today.
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