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Match Preview: Sunderland head to Gillingham (again) in search of a much-needed three points

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Sunderland head to Gillingham aiming to halt an alarming run of two wins in 11. However, they face a Gills side unbeaten in their last four home games - will the Black Cats return to winning ways?

Gillingham v Sunderland: FA Cup First Round Replay Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

After a merciful reprieve from duty last weekend, everyone’s favourite underperforming League One football club are back! Featuring all your favourite stars such as lost bus driver Phil Parkinson, permanently confused Conor McLaughlin and walking laughing face emoji Luke O’Nien. Oh yes, climb aboard everyone, as we’re all off to Gillingham to stand in the rain and see if those 11 days on the training pitch will help Sunderland gain three points in Kent... or wherever the hell Gillingham is.

SAFC.com

Parky Says…

If you go back to the two games we had, the first half at home I thought we played well.

We conceded a poor goal in the first 15 minutes of the second half. It took us a while to get going down there and we ended up in a scrap with them and didn’t play enough.

We have got to get both sides of the game right. We have got to stand up to the way they are going to play, which we have got the capabilities to do.

We have also got to have the calmness in possession to be able to play quickly against them, but we have to get both sides of the game right to give us the best chance of winning three points.

Sunderland v Coventry City - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Team News

Parkinson confirmed that both Marc McNulty and Charlie Wyke have trained this week and will be part of the squad heading to Kent. Wyke has been missing since going off injured in Parkinson’s first game in charge at Wycombe Wanderers, his return will provide more options in attack.

Max Power misses out through suspension while the game comes too soon for Lynden Gooch and Brandon Taylor who are set to resume training ahead of the visit of Blackpool next week.

Sheffield United v Sunderland - Carabao Cup - Third Round - Bramall Lane Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images

View From The Opposition

The Gills come into this game in an encouraging run of form. Steve Evans’ men have won their last four home games without conceding a goal. Their last outing saw them blow away Doncaster Rovers to book an enticing third round cup tie with West Ham United. The two sides will already be sick of the sight of each other as they face off for the third time in the space of a month.

Speaking ahead of the game, Evans said:

They [Sunderland] have had 10 days to freshen up, 10 days to get players back from injury and they will be a different proposition I guess here than what they were in the FA Cup.

I know Phil well, he is a very gifted manager. Those last two results weren’t great and they needed a break but they knew this was coming.

They have had the chance to get some players back in that weren’t available against us and it will be another battle.

I think it will be the hardest of the three games, for sure.

Gillingham v Lincoln City - Sky Bet League One Photo by Andrew Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

Match Stats

Venue: Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham
Kick-off: 3pm
Referee: Andy Woolmer
Current position: 15th (League One)
Last season position: 13th (League One)

Last 5 results:

SAFC

(L1) Burton Albion (H) 1-2
(L1) Coventry City (H) 1-1
(FAC) Gillingham (A) 0-1
(LT) Scunthorpe United (A) 0-3
(FAC) Gillingham (H) 1-1

GFC

(FAC) Doncaster Rovers (H) 3-0
(L1) AFC Wimbledon (A) 0-1
(FAC) Sunderland (H) 1-0
(L1) Lincoln City (H) 1-0
(LT) Tottenham Hotspur U21 (H) 2-0

The Lads at Gillingham

19 Nov 2019 (FAC) Gillingham 1-0 Sunderland
22 Aug 2018 (L1) Gillingham 1-4 Sunderland (Maguire, Honeyman, Power, Maja)
11 Sep 2004 (CH) Gillingham 0-4 Sunderland (Stewart 3, Elliott)
04 Nov 2003 (D1) Gillingham 1-3 Sunderland (Downing, Oster, Stewart)
15 Sep 1987 (D3) Gillingham 0-0 Sunderland

Top goalscorers (in all competitions)

5 - Brandon Hanlan
4 - Alex Jakubiak
4 - Olly Lee
3 - Mikael Ndjoli
2 - Alfie Jones

Gillingham v Lincoln City - Sky Bet League One Photo by Andrew Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

Last Time We Met

Fill my lungs up with magic of the cup vibes by failing to have a shot on target in 120 minutes and losing to Gillingham. What a time to be alive.