Gillingham v Sunderland
Sky Bet League One
Kick-Off: 1.00pm - Saturday 31st October, 2020
TV/Stream: Full live match coverage available via www.safc.com
Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Newcastle (not online)
Despite a point at Rochdale in midweek, it does feel like Sunderland have suffered consecutive defeats and will be targeting all three points on Halloween this weekend. After all, going three games in the space of seven days without victory will be a frightening proposition for Phil Parkinson.
Gillingham have started out their eighth season in the third tier with similar form to that of the previous seven, as they sit 16th in League One after losing their last four. Gills manager Steve Evans is the character to relish the visit of Sunderland as his side look to move up the table this weekend.
Sunderland Team News
More injuries at the back will mean Sunderland will leave it late to see who slots in on the right side of the back three. Jordan Willis is still recovering from a knee injury and could possibly play with the aid of an injection, which will surely tempt Phil Parkinson – especially if Sanderson doesn’t recover from his knock ahead of kick-off.
O’Nien has finished his suspension from his sending off last weekend, and will almost certainly return to the line-up – as will Grant Leadbitter, who will be aiming to return to action as soon as possible.
Possible XI: Lee Burge, Jordan Willis, Bailey Wright, Tom Flanagan; Luke O’Nien, Grant Leadbitter, Max Power (c), Denver Hume; Lynden Gooch, Chris Maguire, Charlie Wyke
Gillingham Team News
A combination of a busy summer for Steve Evans and a host of injuries to the likes of Jacob Mellis, Ryan Jackson, Tom O’Connor and Stuart O’Keefe will see a much-changed side when compared to the one that Sunderland faced on four occasions last year.
Form may also play a part for Steve Evans, and changes might be expected for a side that has lost the last four.
Possible XI: Bonham, McKenzie, Tucker, Medley, Ogilvie; Graham, Eccles, Dempsey, MacDonald; Samuel, Oliver
Last Time We Met... at the Priestfield Stadium
Tuesday 19th November 2019: FA Cup 1st Round Replay
Gillingham 1 - 0 Sunderland (Hanlan 33’)
Sunderland: Burge, Taylor, Ozturk (Bainbridge), De Bock, O’Nien, Leadbitter, Power, Hume (McGeouch), Maguire, Watmore (McGeady), Grigg (Connelly) Substitutes not used: Patterson, Mumba, Sammut
Gillingham: Bonham, Fuller, Ogilive, Jones, Ehmer, Tucker, Byrne, Lee, Jakubiak (Ndjoli), Hanlan, O’Keefe Substitutes not used: Walsh, Hodson, Cisse, Pringle, Charles-Cook, Marshall
Despite a couple of disappointing results this week the bookmakers still think Sunderland are clear favourites and have the away side at 4/5 with a Gillingham win on offer at 15/4.
For a correct score, a 1-0 victory for Sunderland is the favourite at 9/2 and a tight 1-0 home victory is on offer at 10/1. A repeat of the 2-2 at Rochdale is priced at 16/1.
Unsurprisingly Charlie Wyke is favourite to open the scoring for Sunderland and is 10/3, closely followed by Chris Maguire at 4/1 and Danny Graham at 9/2.
Gilingham are on a run – they have lost the last four in League One – and we’re desperate for a win after picking up one point out of the last six. So I’m going for a scrappy draw.
Gillingham 1 - 1 Sunderland