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Match Preview: Fleetwood Town v Sunderland

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Another cup fixture before we get back to League One action - this time it’s the Papa John’s Trophy and a trip to Fleetwood Town. Here is everything you need to know ahead of kick-off!

Simon Dael / BPI

Fleetwood Town v Sunderland - Papa John’s Trophy, Group Stage

Highbury Stadium

Kick-Off: 7.45pm - Tuesday 10th November, 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 game at RokerReport.com!


The final group game of this competition has finally come round, and the big news is that the EFL have signed a three-year deal with the UK pizza takeaway company Papa John’s to become the official title sponsor.

Sunderland and Fleetwood are both through, but Phil Parkinson and Joey Barton aren’t the type of characters to give up the opportunity to get one over a promotion rival, especially with the two sides due to meet again in two weeks’ time.

Sunderland progressed To the next stage after a 5-3 victory over Carlisle last time out and Fleetwood defeated Aston Villa U21s 3-0, but it’s up for debate if either side welcomes more fixtures in this competition in among the hectic League One schedule.

As it’s a roulette trying to hazard a guess at team selection, let’s remind ourselves of the EFL Trophy competition rules...

Sunderland v Mansfield Town: Emirates FA Cup First Round Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

EFL Trophy Rules

Any eligible goalkeeper from the club can play in the competition.

A club must play four qualifying players from the 10.

A qualifying player must meet one of the following criteria:

- A player who started the previous of following first team fixture.

- Any player who is in the top ten players at the club who have made the most starting appearances in the League and domestic cup competitions that season.

- Any player with 40 of more first team appearances in their career.

- Any player currently on loan from a Premier League of Category One Academy Club.

Only two players over the age of 21 who have made 40 or more senior appearances can be selected to play for Academy sides.


Sunderland Team News

Who knows how seriously Phil Parkinson will take this fixture? Who knows how seriously we took the FA Cup tie against Mansfield?

It really is pin the tail on the donkey time, and we could see the majority of the side that were trotted out in the FA Cup at the weekend.

Possible XI: Matthews, Sanderson, McLaughlin, Taylor, Diamond, Dobson, Power, McFadzean, Embleton, Grigg, Graham

Sunderland v Mansfield Town: Emirates FA Cup First Round
Will Chris Maguire be rested for the trip to Fleetwood?
Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Fleetwood Town Team News

With the two clubs due to face each other in two weeks’ at Highbury Stadium, Joey Barton may be looking to put down a marker in the build up.

The ex-Newcastle United player will be looking to create a bit of momentum as his side are currently struggling to keep in touch of the play-offs.

Possible XI: Cairns, Rydel, Boyes, Hill, Edwards, Rossitor, Duffy, Matate, Holgate, Madden, S Morris

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

Last Time We Met... at Highbury Stadium

Wednesday 1st January 2020: Sky Bet League One

Fleetwood Town 1 - 1 Sunderland (Evans 13’ - Maguire (pen) 86’)

Sunderland: J. McLaughlin, Willis (Watmore), Ozturk, Lynch, O’Nien, Dobson (McNulty), Power, Hume, Maguire, Gooch, Wyke Substitutes not used: Burge, C. McLaughlin, Flanagan, Leadbitter, Grigg

Fleetwood Town: Cairns, Coyle, Andrew, Coutts (Biggins), Eastham, Souttar, Burns, Dempsey, Evans (Saunders), Morris (Sowerby), Madden Substitutes not used: Crelin, Hill, Garner, McAleny

Fleetwood Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Chris Maguire equalises from the spot for Sunderland the last time the two sides met at Fleetwood
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Prediction

I have no idea - I hope that the players involved in the FA Cup exit who are given another opportunity take it this time, but I’m not convinced.

Fleetwood Town 1 - 0 Sunderland