Crewe have struggled so far this term, winning only won once in the league, which leaves them languishing in 23rd place.
The Railwaymen are winless in their last five league encounters and a run of three consecutive League One draws was ended at the weekend, when they lost to Fleetwood Town.
On that occasion, Fleetwood thrashed Crewe 3-0, with all three goals coming in the second half to condemn David Artell’s side to their sixth league defeat of the season.
Crewe have only kept one league clean sheet this term, and Artell will be concerned that his side have conceded 10 goals in their last five league fixtures.
They have also struggled to find the net with regularity, scoring only nine goals this term – only Doncaster Rovers have scored fewer goals in League One this season.
Sunderland have been in impressive form this season, and they are just a point behind league leaders Plymouth Argyle, with two games in hand.
The Black Cats have only suffered one defeat in their last eight League One games, and they picked up three more points at the weekend against Gillingham.
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In that encounter, Danny Lloyd-McGoldrick scored a penalty to give Gillingham the lead, but Aiden O’Brien and Tom Flanagan grabbed a goal each to give Sunderland a 2-1 victory.
Sunderland have won all six of their home league games, but their away form has room for improvement, with the Black Cats winning two of their five away league encounters.
Lee Johnson’s side have been in fine goalscoring touch this term, grabbing 20 goals in the league, and they have scored in nine of their 11 league games this season