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Match Preview: Gillingham v Sunderland

Sunderland head to the south-east desperate for a result against Gillingham to keep tabs with the leading pack and ease the pressure on the manager. Here is everything you need to know ahead of kick-off!

Gillingham v Oxford United - Sky Bet League One Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Gillingham v Sunderland

Sky Bet League One

Priestfield Stadium

Kick-Off: 1.00pm - Saturday 31st October, 2020


Match Coverage

TV/Stream: Full live match coverage available via www.safc.com

Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Newcastle (not online)

Don’t forget to follow the blow-by-blow account of the game on the Roker Report Twitter feed (@RokerReport) and check out the player ratings after the full-time whistle at www.RokerReport.com!


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.

Rochdale v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

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

Gillingham v Oxford United - Sky Bet League One
Steve Evans
Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

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

Attendance: 3,561


Match Betting

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.

Rochdale v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Charlie Wyke
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

Match Prediction

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