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Match Preview: Doncaster Rovers v Sunderland

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After a rare week without midweek action, Sunderland are back on their travels and face a trip to South Yorkshire to take on Doncaster Rovers - here is everything you need to know ahead of kick-off!

Doncaster Rovers v Wolverhampton Wanderers U21 - Papa John’s Trophy - Group F - Keepmoat Stadium Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images

Doncaster Rovers v Sunderland

Sky Bet League One

Keepmoat Stadium

Kick-Off: 3.00pm - Saturday 21st 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 full-time whistle at www.RokerReport.com!


Sunderland travel to South Yorkshire this weekend with the intention of avoiding a fourth straight defeat, where the saving grace for Phil Parkinson was that only one of those came in a League One fixture.

One hope for the Sunderland manager will be they keep up their impressive away form this season that has resulted in three victories and two draws in the five fixtures away from the Stadium of Light so far.

Despite winning on win in five only three points separates Sunderland and the automatic promotion places but any more slip-ups will eventually result in a widening gap that will increase pressure on an already under fire Phil Parkinson.

Darren Moore’s Doncaster Rovers side are about par if last season’s performance is anything to go by, as they currently sit 11th in League One. Last time out saw Donny draw away to AFC Wimbledon which followed a home victory against Lincoln City.

In their five home games so far they have only suffered defeat once and as they’re sitting only four points outside the paly-offs with games in hand, will be looking at this fixture as an opportunity to propel themselves into the promotion mix.

Sunderland v MK Dons - Sky Bet League 1
Phil Parkinson deep in thought during Sunderland’s defeat to MK Dons
Photo by Trevor Wilkinson/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Sunderland Team News

It’s spin the wheel of selection for Phil Parkinson as we again try and decipher what his thoughts are this week. I’d expect that a tough fixture away from home will see our more natural defenders playing as, well, defenders, and the abandonment of a second out-and-out striker.

Maguire will likely come back into the side to sit deep when we’re out of possession, but it’s anyone’s guess.

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


Doncaster Rovers Team News

Darren Moore has brought in a couple of interesting and exciting young players on loan to the Keepmoat Stadium this season.

Look out for Matt Smith on loan from Manchester City in midfield and Josh Sims from Southampton who will be dangerous if given the space with his turn of pace.

In terms of ex-Sunderland players, it’s likely we will see Reece James in the Doncaster line-up in a central midfield role this weekend.

Possible XI: Bursik, Halliday, Wright, Anderson, John; Whiteman, Taylor, Smith, James, Sims, Okenabirhie

Doncaster Rovers v Lincoln City - Sky Bet League One
Doncaster Rovers manager Darren Moore
Photo by Andrew Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

Last Time We Met... at the Keepmoat Stadium

Saturday 29th December 2019: Sky Bet League One

Doncaster Rovers 1 - 2 Sunderland (Taylor 40’ - Gooch 6’, Maguire 61’)

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

Doncaster Rovers: Dieng, Halliday, John (Thomas), Whiteman, Anderson, Wright, Sadlier, Gomes, Ennis, Coppinger (Watters), Taylor Substitutes not used: Lawlor, James, Daniels, Sheaf, Greaves

Attendance: 12,432


Match Betting

The bookies see this as a close one, with Sunderland at 29/20 and a home victory is priced at 15/8, and 9/4 that each side will take a point.

For a correct score, a 1-1 draw is the favourite scoreline at 9/2, and a Sunderland victory by a comfortable margin such as 2-0 is 11/1 with a 3-0 at 25/1. Donny to get the only goal of the game and win 1-0 is priced at 7/1.

Doncaster Rovers v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Lynden Gooch celebrating the opening goal the last time the two sides met at the Keepmoat Stadium
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Match Prediction

Last season the away fixture at Doncaster was one that kickstarted Phil Parkinson’s time as Sunderland manager after a 2-1 victory but it might be a tighter affair this time.

Sunderland have a good away record and Doncaster have a good home record - so I’m banking on the two sides to cancel each other out and end in a stalemate.

Doncaster Rovers 1 - 1 Sunderland