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Match Preview: Sunderland v Lincoln City

Sunderland look to continue the peculiar sensation of not losing football matches as they welcome Lincoln City to the Stadium of Light. Can the Lads close the gap of those ever enticing play-off places?

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

Sunderland return to the Stadium of Light after completing a festive programme with the peculiar sensation of staying undefeated. The Lads haven’t tasted the creamy goodness of a League One loss since the calamity of Priestfield on December 7th. They welcome a Lincoln City side buoyed by back-to-back victories over Ipswich Town and Peterborough United.

With every other League One club out of action due to the FA Cup, it presents the perfect opportunity for Sunderland to make ground on the play-off places.

Fleetwood Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Kevin Barnes - CameraSport via Getty Images

Parky Says…

We have created a lot of opportunities and that is pleasing.

There is a good spirit among the lads - you can really feel that. I think the supporters who have been at the last two games can sense that too.

We have got to keep plugging away, one game at a time, but we go back into the Stadium of Light at the weekend with renewed confidence.

It is another important game for us against Lincoln City.

If we can put in a really good performance at the weekend to make sure we finish this Christmas period in style then I will be happy going into the January window.

Fleetwood Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Kevin Barnes - CameraSport via Getty Images

Team News

Assistant manager Steve Parkin took Friday’s press conference, and told the assembled media pack that Sunderland have no injury concerns - though it’s not determined whether he had remembered about Elliot Embleton or not, who is a long-term absentee:

Everyone is good. We have a few bumps and bruises and a little bit of a cold knocking about, but everyone is fit and well. We’re all raring to go this Saturday.


View From The Opposition

After a rocky introduction to life in League One, Lincoln City have found their feet under boss Michael Appleton. The architects of the final nail in Jack Ross’ Sunderland career, the Imps currently lie in 16th place after patchy runs of form. However, the League Two champions have enjoyed an impressive festive period.

Winning four of their last six league game, they have taken the scalps of Burton Albion, Peterborough and dished out a 5-3 thrashing of Ipswich to cap off 2019. Much of the success has been down to scoring boots of Tyler Walker. The on-loan Nottingham Forest striker has scored 12 goals in all competitions so far this campaign and Lincoln supporters are already concerned that bigger teams could be sniffing around their star man.

Speaking after the win over Peterborough, Appleton spoke of his hope to have a new signing in time for the trip to Sunderland:

I’m hoping we can get one done before Saturday. I’m reasonably confident. If we don’t it’s not a major issue. We’ve got to take our time to make sure it’s right.

The balance has to be right and over the January period that has to be the case.

I would like to see at least four new faces in before the end of January. The reality is that we’ll have to move one or two on.

Lincoln City v Peterborough United - Sky Bet League One Photo by Chris Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

Match Stats

Venue: Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Kick-off: 3pm
Referee: Leigh Doughty
Current position: 16th
Last season position: 1st (League Two)

Last 5 results:

SAFC

(L1) Fleetwood Town (A) 1-1
(L1) Doncaster Rovers (A) 2-1
(L1) Bolton Wanderers (H) 0-0
(L1) Blackpool (H) 1-1
(L1) Gillingham (A) 0-1

LCFC

(L1) Peterborough United (H) 2-1
(L1) Ipswich Town (H) 5-3
(L1) Oxford United (A) 0-1
(L1) Coventry City (A) 0-1
(L1) Tranmere Rovers (H) 1-0

The Imps on Wearside

03 Sep 1960 (D2) Sunderland 2-2 Lincoln City (Lawther, Fogarty)
26 Dec 1959 (D2) Sunderland 2-4 Lincoln City (O’Neill 2)
20 Dec 1958 (D2) Sunderland 2-0 Lincoln City (Kichenbrand, Maltby)

Top goalscorers (in all competitions)

12 - Tyler Walker
5 - Harry Anderson
3 - John Akinde
2 - Bruno Andrade
2 - Jorge Grant

Lincoln City v Ipswich Town - Sky Bet League One Photo by Chris Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

Last Time We Met

Little did Sunderland supporters know that a defeat away at Sincil Bank in early-October could be the beginning of a spiral to League One obscurity. The harrowing defeat against the Imps, including a world class goalkeeping howler from Jon McLaughlin, spelled the end for Jack Ross.

Luckily, the board had a plan to install a manager that would guarantee us promotion back to the second tier. And, in Phil Parkinson, they found the right man to do that...

This will be Lincoln’s maiden voyage to the Stadium of Light and their first trip to Wearside since 1960, so that’ll be nice for them.

Lincoln City v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Chris Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images