Category Archives: Sunderland

Preview: Sunderland v Rotherham United

We look ahead to the Sky Bet League One Match…

SUNDERLAND host Rotherham United at the Stadium of Light, as they look to build on a positive start to their Sky Bet League One campaign.

Jack Ross’s side have made a good start to the season as they look to go one better than the last, having lost in the Play-Off Final. The Black Cats have started with five wins, two draws and one defeat from their seven matches in the league.tar

The Black Cats come into this game on the back of a 3-1 victory over Accrington Stanley at the weekend and having lost just one from their last seven in all competitions.

Rotherham United, managed by Paul Warne, have won three out of four games on the road this season and will be looking to build on the emphatic 6-1 victory over Bolton Wanderers on Saturday afternoon at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.

Speaking ahead of the fixture, Black Cats boss Ross told the Media at Monday’s press conference that winger Duncan Watmore is still missing, however striker Charlie Wyke is back after suspension and injury.

Ross also stated as things stand, the Black Cats have no fresh injury concerns from the weekend’s win over Accrington. This is despite a couple of players being involved who had been carrying injuries.

Speaking after the victory over Bolton on Saturday Millers boss Paul Warne said: “I always think we can be better,”

“If I didn’t I’m not doing my job properly. We’ll watch the game back tomorrow then prepare for Sunderland. We’ll see what things we could have done better.

“We had plenty of chances, first-half. The set-piece caught us cold, even though we haven’t been able to have them watched, I knew set-pieces would be a problem. Someone fell asleep, so that’s a problem.

“But, overall, to score six goals at home in the sunshine, it was a good workout against a good Bolton side. We weren’t playing against an Under-21s – anything but. They did cause us problems, at times, but more often than not, the lads answered the questions.”

Warne admitted that “The lads were trying to score,” saying “We were putting dangerous crosses in. We haven’t had much luck over the last five or six games, I don’t think. Whereas we had a lot of luck today, like Carlton’s second goal with how it fell to him and a deflected shot. You could argue that the scoreline maybe flattered us, I don’t know if we were deserved of more goals but we were definitely deserved of a win.”

Warne believed that he thought Bolton would start really well, saying: “I thought they (Bolton) would start really well. They had a brilliant following and they stood to a man to the final whistle and clapped their team off, which was hugely impressive.

“For them to score early on was a good character test and the lads passed the test.”

Match Prediction

Sunderland 1-2 Rotherham United

Away Ticket News

Ticket Details for Rotherham United fans ahead of the game, it’s been confirmed that Millers supporters can pay on the night at the Stadium of Light ahead of their clash.

There will be no increases in price of tickets on the day of the game – meaning they are priced at:

  • Adults (22-64): £18
  • Senior (65+): £15
  • Under 22: £10
  • Under 16: £17

Proof of concessions will need to be shown at time of purchase and also on the turnstiles at the Stadium of Light on the day of the game. If anyone is unable to show proof of concession at the turnstiles then they’ll be refused entry with no refund possible.

Tickets will remain on sale at the AESSEAL New York Stadium’s Red and White Shop, online at Rotherham United Shop or via phone on 01709 827768 until 12pm Tuesday 17th September.

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Carabao Cup: Round One Draw Announced

The Carabao Cup Round One draw was made on Thursday evening from Morrisons, Colindale, North West London.

There were two stand out ties from the draw with AFC Wimbledon playing MK Dons, while newly-promoted Salford City will face Leeds United.

The draw was conducted by two former England internationals in John Barnes and Ray Parlour and was split into two regions – North and South.

Huddersfield Town, the hightest-ranked team in the Northern Section, will face Lincoln City while the highest ranked Southern side, West Bromwich Albion, will face Millwall.

Every club from Sky Bet League One and League Two enter the Carabao Cup in Round One, along with 22 Championship clubs.

Only Cardiff City and Fulham – who finished 18th and 19th respectively in the Premier League last season, will enter in Round Two, alongside the clubs from the Premier League, not in European competitions.

The first round matches are scheduled to take place week commencing Monday 12thAugust, with the final due to take place on March 1, 2020.

Full Round One Draw can be seen below:

North Draw

Tranmere Rovers v Hull City

Grimsby Town v Doncaster Rovers

Wigan Athletic v Stoke City

Port Vale v Burton Albion

Nottingham Forest v Fleetwood Town

Bradford City v Preston North End

Blackpool v Macclesfield Town

Blackburn Rovers v Oldham Athletic

Mansfield Town v Morecambe

Accrington Stanley v Sunderland

Scunthorpe United v Derby County

Rochdale v Bolton Wanderers

Huddersfield Town v Lincoln City

Middlesbrough v Crewe Alexandra

Shrewsbury Town v Rotherham United

Sheffield Wednesday v Bury

Salford City v Leeds United

Barnsley v Carlisle United

South Draw

Colchester United v Swindon Town

AFC Wimbledon v MK Dons

Oxford United v Peterborough United

Queens Park Rangers v Bristol City

Plymouth Argyle v Leyton Orient

Wycombe Wanderers v Reading

Charlton Athletic v Forest Green Rovers

Gillingham v Newport County

Stevenage v Southend United

Luton Town v Ipswich Town

Walsall v Crawley Town

Bristol Rovers v Cheltenham Town

Brentford v Cambridge United

Coventry City v Exeter City

Swansea City v Northampton Town

Portsmouth | Checkatrade Trophy Winners

It was Portsmouth who won a pulsating Checkatrade Trophy Final at Wembley Yesterday, played in front of over 85,000 fans- a record for a game in this competition played at Wembley.

The stadium was bouncing with noise made by the two travelling contingents, however in singing terms, the Blue Army out sang the Black Cats.

The first half saw Sunderland, playing towards the Pompey fans housed behind the West End Goal as well as the North and South Stand, dominate proceedings for the first 45 minutes, taking the lead, with an Aiden McGeady free kick in the 38th Minute, a goal which sent the Black Cats supporters into euphoria.

Half Time Portsmouth 0~ Sunderland 1

In the second half, Portsmouth, now playing towards their fans, upped thier game and started bossing the midfield area, after struggling in first half, the began to create good chances, with skipper Pitman hitting the post, before Nathan Thompson headed home a deserved equaliser in the 84th minute to send the blue army into raptures and the game into Extra Time.

Full Time : Portsmouth 1 ~ Sunderland 1

As Extra time got underway, both teams carried on creating chances, with Portsmouth having the better of them, despite some obviously tired legs. In the 114th Minute, Jamal Lowe found himself in a great posistion on the edge of the Sunderland Box, with the goalkeeper advancing, and lobbed the goalkeeper with a neat precise shot, which saw the ball hit the back of the net to give Pompey a 2-1 advantage.

Could they hold on?… Sunderland came back with a vengance, but creating very little, until the 119th Minute, when Aiden McGeady fashioned an opportunity in the Pompey box, with several players, not wanting to make the tackle for fear of giving away a penalty and his shot, scrambled over the line, despite frantic Pompey efforts to clear it

Shortly after the Final Whistle Sounded

AET: Portsmouth 2~Sunderland 2

And so to penalties which were taken towards the West Stand Housing the Pompey Supporters

Pompey scored all their spot kicks and Sunderland missed one with Lee Cattermole’s penalty was saved by MacGillivray. A great final 45 minutes and extra time helped Portsmouth end up being crowned Checkatrade Trophy Winners and fully deserved it was as well.

Can Sunderland do the double in Jack Ross’ first season at the helm?

The decline of Sunderland has been slow and painful to watch over the last few seasons. After managing to escape relegation from the Premier League by the skin of their teeth year on year, when the inevitable finally happened in 2017, there wasn’t much hope of an immediate return to the top flight.

But after back to back relegation to League One, the club were in free fall, managers Simon Grayson and Chris Coleman were unable to stop the rot, and the club began their first season in English footballs third tier for the first time since 1987/88. New manager Jack Ross has been tasked with steering the club back to the upper echelons of the game, but does this young manager have what it takes?

Style of play

Jack Ross has a very fan friendly style of football, preferring to keep the ball on the deck and encourages his defenders to play out from the back. His teams are attacking but are also disciplined at the back, this can be seen this season with Sunderland’s solid defence, only conceding 32 goals in 34 games while scoring 61 themselves. This season he has primarily set up in a 4-2-3-1 system, deploying two defensive midfielders giving the three attacking players in front of them freedom to roam, which has led to Aiden McGeady, Chris Maguire and George Honeyman enjoying very good seasons respectively.

Key players

Experienced winger Aiden McGeady is a cut above League One level, the Republic of Ireland star has played in the Premier League and Champions League, as well as two European Championships with his national side. He has 11 goals and 6 assists so far this season, and is already enjoying the best goal scoring season of his career with another two months of the season left to play. Primarily playing off the left hand side, McGeady has terrorised League One defenders all season, and if Sunderland weren’t to go up this season, there’s a good chance he’ll move on from Wearside in the summer.

Lee Cattermole has been around the North East club since 2009 but many felt he’d call time on his Black Cats career following last seasons relegation. That he not only stayed but has become arguably one of Sunderland’s most important players would have surprised most fans. What would have surprised even more fans is the fact that he has scored the same amount of goals this season (5) as he had in his previous ten seasons combined. The midfield enforcer has reinvented himself as a goal scoring midfielder almost in the mould of Frank Lampard, and his experience and leadership will be vital in the run in.

Performance this season

Jack Ross’ has undoubtedly brought the good times back to the Stadium of Light, sitting pretty in third place with a game in hand over second place Barnsley, as well as reaching the EFL Trophy final to be played at the end of this month. His side have only lost two league games this campaign, only Liverpool have lost fewer games in the top 4 English Leagues. Perhaps the teams downfall has been that they have drawn too many games, with more draws than anyone else in League One (14). The Black Cats have only lost once against the other top six sides, and have took all three points against Barnsley (4-2) Charlton (2-1) and Doncaster (1-0). With huge upcoming games with Barnsley and Portsmouth, they will be hoping they can continue this record.

Form last 5: DWWWW

Sunderland definitely seem to be hitting form at the right time which is exactly what the fans will want to see. A draw with Accrington has been followed up with four unprecedented wins over Gillingham (4-2) Bristol Rovers (2-0) Plymouth (2-0) and another win over Bristol rovers to cement their place in the EFL Trophy final against Portsmouth.

Run in

Their run in sees them face top 10 sides Coventry, Doncaster, Peterborough and Portsmouth before finishing with a trip to 13th placed Southend on the final day. With a very tough few games to end the season, it’s vital to Sunderland that they are in a healthy position before heading into these games, and will need some very big performances to keep their automatic promotion hopes alive.

Prediction

With a tough run in and their focus potentially turning to their Wembley date in the EFL Trophy showpiece, Sunderland may struggle to finish in the automatic promotion places, despite their good form of late. But don’t rule out Jack Ross’ side finishing strong to trouble the top two spots, and potentially scoop the title.

Will Sunderland take all the spoils this season in the EFL Trophy & gaining automatic promotion or will they fall short to peaking too early?

Three players who will exit Sunderland in the summer.

As relegation to League One looms for Sunderland we preview three players who could exit the Stadium of Light in the summer.

Paddy McNair

Former Manchester United midfielder Paddy McNair looks likely to leave due to wages, McNair has struggled for a run in the first team due to injury. However, he returned in the 2-1 defeat to Preston North End before playing for Northern Ireland on Saturday.

McNair has made a big impression when he has played for the Black Cats and he has scored several crucial goals including a last gasp equaliser against Bolton Wanderers at the Stadium of Light early on in the campaign.

Played mainly as a defensive midfielder nowadays he will attract interest from Championship sides or maybe even a lower league Premier League club such as Swansea City.

Aiden McGeady

After a fantastic start for the club under former manager, Simon Grayson McGeady’s form has dipped drastically, the Irish winger exploded into life with an array of fine performances earlier on in the season.

However since the appointment of Chris Coleman McGeady has found chances in the first team hard to come by being used as a late deploy of the bench to inject pace into the game.

A January move to Leeds United was reportedly on the cards and this could be finalised in the summer as he is in all honestly too good to play in League One.

Duncan Watmore

Watmore has hardly kicked a ball this season due to a long term injury but the roadrunner as he is known is an excellent player and one that will certainly attract interest from clubs all around the country.

Watmore posses a fantastic range of pace and finishing ability and I could see him in the Premier League with a side such as Everton where he could join friend and former teammate Jordan Pickford.

Watmore hasn’t got the chance to impress Coleman as yet but if a high offer comes in then Sunderland due to their of field problems have no choice but to accept it.

Sunderland fans do you think these 3 players will exit the Stadium Of Light this summer? Do you think any other high profile names will depart if your club is relegated? Let us know in the comments section…