Tobias Gourlay's backing today's EFL Trophy favourites to get the job done quickly at Wembley this afternoon
"The Black Cats have been leading at the break in 8/10 league wins under Lee Johnson"
Sunderland v Tranmere Rovers
Sunday 15:00 (Live on Sky Sports Football)
At Wembley yesterday, Portsmouth had their chances, but they were held to a 0-0 draw by Salford City who eventually won a penalty shootout 4-2 to become 2020's EFL Trophy champions. Alas for Salford, the demands of Covid mean they already have to hand back the first trophy they've ever won as a football league club.
Sunderland meet Tranmere Rovers in the 2021 EFL Trophy final this afternoon. Sunderland are odds-on favourites, despite failing to lift a trophy at the end of their last seven Wembley finals (D2-L5 in 90 minutes since winning the 1973 FA Cup final).
Lee Johnson's Sunderland have taken 19 points from a possible 21 in League One recently, climbing to fourth in the table. Tranmere have been in similarly good for in League Two: since Keith Hill took charge they are W12-D3-L5 at home and away, winning nine of the last 12 to reach fifth in the table.
Tranmere have scored at least twice in each of their last six EFL Trophy games, but must do without top-scorer James Vaughan for this game as they go up against a Sunderland defence that has recently notched clean sheets in 5/6 League One matches.
At the other end of the pitch, Tranmere have managed just three clean sheets in 12 League Two games and look vulnerable to higher-league opposition whose own in-form striker, Charlie Wyke (16 goals in 19 appearances in 2021), is fit and available.
With that question mark about Tranmere's firepower, we'll take Sunderland to outgun them. The Black Cats have been leading at the break in 8/10 league wins under Johnson and, going up against a shaky Tranmere defence today, we'll back them to be ahead at 45 minutes and 90 minutes in the Half Time/Full Time market.
2021 P/L (1pt per bet)