Sunderland welcome league leaders Wycombe Wanderers to the Stadium of Light against a backdrop of our beloved owner having a totally normal one. While the Lads on the pitch are currently on a five-game unbeaten and within striking distance of the play-offs, Stewart Donald continues his crusade against Sunderland supporters.
Since, in his mind, nasty fans are the root cause of, statistically, the worst ever Sunderland side in history, we can probably expect yet more of these hissy fits in the coming weeks. Anyway, the Lads have the chance to build on a surprising upturn in form and put the table-topping Chairboys to the sword.
I feel momentum is starting to build and our work rate is getting to where it needs to be. That must continue and we can’t afford to let it drop off.
Wycombe have done great and they are good at what they do. They disrupt the flow of the game and I would imagine they will be looking to slow things down and we need to be ready to deal with that.
Parkinson confirmed that both Luke O’Nien and Joel Lynch have shaken off midweek illnesses and will be available for the visit of Wycombe. Having been recalled from his loan spell at Grimsby Town, Ethan Robson provides an extra option in midfield.
View From The Opposition
Despite topping the table, Wycombe will play the role of plucky underdog as they arrive at the plush surroundings of the Stadium of Light. Manager - and the man most likely to buy a sports bar in Majorca post-retirement - Gareth Ainsworth is playing the whole “little Wycombe” line in preparation for Saturday’s game.
In a cliche-laden interview on the club’s official website, Ainsworth described the game as “still David against Goliath” and was keen to stress “we’re still the David in this scenario”, in case you were in any way confused. And if you’re wondering, yes, he did crowbar a slingshot reference in the following sentence.
The Chairboys are expected to be with Dominic Gape, Curtis Thompson and Jack Grimmer who have returned to full fitness, while striker Fred Onywdinma could also make the squad.
I make no bones about what a tough game this will be away at Sunderland, a real special occasion, with tens of thousands of fans roaring them on, and it’s an atmosphere that we will need to be ready for.
It’ll be an honour for me to be taking Wycombe Wanderers to such a huge club, and I’m sure I’ll have a little flutter in me as we walk through the front door. There might be some fans who try to turn this game on its head and suggest we’re now the bigger club because of where we are in the league, but I have nothing but respect for everyone at Sunderland.
Venue: Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Referee: Andy Davies
Current position: 1st
Last season position: 17th (League One)
Last 5 results:
(L1) Lincoln City (H) 3-1
(L1) Fleetwood Town (A) 1-1
(L1) Doncaster Rovers (A) 2-1
(L1) Bolton Wanderers (H) 0-0
(L1) Blackpool (H) 1-1
(L1) Ipswich Town (H) 1-1
(L1) Coventry City (H) 1-4
(L1) Portsmouth (A) 0-2
(L1) Oxford United (A) 0-1
(L1) Burton Albion (H) 2-0
The Chairboys on Wearside
17 Nov 2018 (L1) Sunderland 1-1 Wycombe Wanderers (Maja)
Top goalscorers (in all competitions)
7 - Adebayo Akinfenwa
7 - Joe Jacobson
4 - Scott Kashket
4 - Fred Onyedinma
3 - David Wheeler
Last Time We Met
A 1-1 draw where Josh Maja bailed out Sunderland was a common theme throughout the 2018/19 campaign. However, the visit of Wycombe Wanderers in November 2018 will be remembered for just one thing.
Take it away, David!