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Having held a lead in added-on time against Wycombe Wanderers at the weekend, Sunderland boss Lee Johnson cannot be satisfied with the eventual 3-3 draw.
Nevertheless, avoiding defeat at the home of their promotion rivals should not necessarily be regarded as a disappointing result, the Black Cats now unbeaten in 10 league matches.
Sunderland have played more matches than many of the teams competing for a return to the second tier, but the North-East outfit at least have an opportunity to lay down a further marker on Tuesday night.
Johnson’s side have spent much of the campaign playing catch-up, and victory at the Stadium of Light would alleviate some of the pressure which has consistently been on their shoulders.
Ross Stewart scored another two goals at Adams Park, the Scottish frontman having now netted 17 strikes from 25 league appearances this season.
Lincoln would have expected to be rivalling Sunderland for promotion again after agonisingly missing out in the League One playoff final in May.
However, it took an unexpected triumph versus Oxford to move Michael Appleton‘s team outside of the bottom four, ending a seven-game winless streak in the process.
Given the players at his disposal, Appleton will be confident that Lincoln will eventually move clear of any danger, but they require more performances like the one at Sincil Bank at the weekend.
Sunderland will be without midfielder Corry Evans, who will have to sit out the upcoming games after suffering a head injury at Wycombe.
Johnson has suggested that none of his other sidelined players will return, which could lead to just Jack Diamond being drafted into the team.
Denver Hume may be included down the left-hand side if Johnson attempts to rejig his side.
Lincoln defender Lewis Montsma sustained a knee injury against Oxford, leading to Lasse Sorensen having to deputise in a deeper position than usual.
Given the club’s injury list, midfielder Sorensen may line up in that role on Tuesday, while Anthony Scully will be assessed after making his first start since November 20.
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Sunderland possible starting lineup:
Patterson; Winchester, Flanagan, Doyle, Cirkin; Diamond, Neil; Gooch, Pritchard, Embleton; Stewart
Lincoln City possible starting lineup:
Griffiths; Eyoma, Sorensen, Poole, Bramall; Fiorini, McGrandles, Bishop; Whittaker, Maguire, Scully