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Michael Beale must start ‘excellent’ player against Plymouth today, he could be the difference



Today’s Championship match between Plymouth Argyle and Sunderland looks to be an exciting one.

Sunderland enters the upcoming match against Plymouth with momentum from their recent 1-1 draw against Middlesbrough, while Plymouth comes into the fixture unbeaten in their last four Championship matches.

Despite Plymouth’s recent form, Sunderland holds the advantage in this encounter. Plymouth has struggled on the road, winning just one of their last 15 away matches, and their recent defeats have primarily come against top-seven sides.

With these statistics in mind, Sunderland sees this as a prime opportunity to capitalize on their home advantage and the support of their enthusiastic crowd to secure three crucial points. A victory could potentially propel them back into playoff contention, depending on results elsewhere.

Manager Michael Beale has several options to consider in terms of team selection. He may opt to give debut opportunities to players like Romaine Mundle, although Callum Styles remains sidelined due to appendix surgery. Additionally, Jobe Bellingham could benefit from a rest, potentially paving the way for Patrick Roberts to feature in the lineup. However, the most significant decision Beale faces could involve replacing Mason Burstow with Nazariy Rusyn in the starting lineup, given Rusyn’s recent performances and potential impact on the game.

Middlesbrough v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship

Mason Burstow ought to be replaced by Nazariy Rusyn in Sunderland’s starting lineup.

After Rusyn’s impactful performance off the bench, including a stunning late equalizer against Middlesbrough, many suggest that he deserves a starting spot in the upcoming match against Plymouth, and his overall contributions make a compelling case for his inclusion.

In the matches he’s played, Rusyn has demonstrated that he is a more effective option as a striker compared to Burstow, supported by statistical evidence. His superior goal conversion rate, higher number of shots per game, and greater expected goals (xG) indicate his potency in front of goal.

Moreover, Rusyn’s attributes extend beyond scoring goals. Described as an “excellent” forward by former Sunderland player Danny Collins, Rusyn showcases his willingness to make runs in behind the defense and create dangerous opportunities for his teammates.

Despite the challenges of inconsistent service to Sunderland’s strikers this season, Rusyn has proven his ability to capitalize on half chances, as evidenced by his goal against Boro. His growing confidence in the team suggests that he is adapting well to his surroundings and is translating that comfort into strong performances on the pitch.

Given these factors, it appears to be a straightforward decision for Beale to include Rusyn in the starting lineup against Plymouth, leveraging his recent form and overall contributions to the team.


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