Media Mash-up: Pundits preview Carlisle United

Media mash-up continues as a batch of local reporters preview Sunderland’s latest match providing insight, analysis and opinion.

Next up, Paul Fraser, James Hunter and Richard Mennear preview the Lads’ Carabao Cup away match tie at Carlisle United this evening.

Paul Fraser (@paulfraserecho) – The Northern Echo

Another break from the Championship, so at this stage of the season that obviously means Sunderland have progressed in the Carabao Cup. That's a nice little bonus for the Black Cats, and Simon Grayson wants that to continue by defeating Carlisle United at Brunton Park. Carlisle will be up for the challenge. There will be a decent home crowd, a decent away following and a short journey home, so it should make for a decent atmosphere too. Sunderland should have what it takes to get past the Cumbrians and reach round three, but Grayson will be mindful of Saturday's defeat to Leeds United having an effect. Grayson wasn't too concerned about the performance against Leeds on reflection, but it was still a first defeat under his watch - so he knows the importance of Sunderland bouncing back. He has impressed everyone so far since taking over and the former Leeds and Preston boss will want to ensure the good work is not undone by a cup exit to League Two opposition - or confidence could really suffer ahead of the trip to Barnsley.

James Hunter (@JHunterChron) – The Chronicle

Having lost at home to Leeds United on Saturday, Sunderland boss Simon Grayson will want to prove that that defeat was no more than a hiccup after what has generally been a positive start to the season. A game against League Two Carlisle in the Carabao Cup offers the perfect opportunity for Sunderland to get back on course, although they must guard against complacency to avoid embarrassment at Brunton Park. Grayson has kept a settled side in the league, but the intensity of the Championship schedule makes changes in the Carabao Cup essential. And tonight's allows players such as Wahbi Khazri, Jack Rodwell, Bryan Oviedo, Darron Gibson, John O'Shea, Papy Djilobodji, Robbin Ruiter, and others to push their cases for a place in the side for this weekend's league trip to Barnsley. It is a chance they must grab with both hands.

Richard Mennear (@RichMennearJP) – Sunderland Echo

Sunderland have been handed a difficult second round tie away to Carlisle United tonight, the League Two side having enjoyed success in this competition in recent seasons. It is difficult to predict the SAFC team manager Simon Grayson will pick but you can guarantee there will be changes. And likely to be plenty of them. Bryan Oviedo will return, with Wahbi Khazri, Jack Rodwell and Robbin Ruiter among those likely to get a run-out too. Sunderland's fringe players need game time with the same starting line-up facing Derby County, Norwich City, Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United in the Championship so far. And some of the first team players could do with a rest too.  The biggest game this week is Barnsley away on Saturday afternoon but Grayson & Co will also want to progress in the Carabao Cup. One thing is for sure, Carlisle United will be fully prepared.  Keith Curle is known for setting up teams to combat the strengths of the opposition and he isn't afraid to tinker with his system or personnel. Sunderland should have enough to make it through to the third round of the competition but Carlisle will push them all the way.

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