Sunderland v Mansfield Town
Emirates FA Cup - 1st Round
Stadium of Light
Kick-Off: 3.00pm - Saturday 7th November 2020
TV/Stream: Full live match coverage available via www.safc.com
Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Newcastle (not online)
For the first time in seventeen years, Sunderland and Mansfield Town once again face one another in a cup competition. Unlike last time when the two clubs met in the League Cup First Round, this time it will be the First Round of the FA Cup.
Sunderland will no doubt use the fixture to give key players a much-needed break from the relentless League One schedule, and provide opportunities to those players who have been knocking on the manager’s door in recent weeks.
Mansfield Town will be viewing the fixture as a means to kick start their season after sacking manager Graham Coughlan at the end of October after nine games without a win.
Caretaker boss Richard Cooper has so far drawn at home to Walsall followed by another draw away to Bolton and has steadied the ship for what looks increasingly likely to be a job taken by Nigel Clough in the not-too-distant future.
Sunderland Team News
If trying to get inside Phil Parkinson’s head before a League One fixture is difficult then predicting how much he will change the line-up for an FA Cup First Round tie with a side struggling in League Two is nigh-on impossible.
As much as I would prefer Bailey Wright to be given a rest, I can see the manager keeping him at the back with two of the more inexperienced players alongside him. Dobson and Power need to minutes and form so will likely feature and I while I’d like to see Neil start it may be more likely he makes an appearance from the bench.
Possible XI: Matthews, Sanderson, Wright, Taylor, Diamond, Dobson, Power, McFadzean, Embleton, O’Brien, Graham
Mansfield Town Team News
In what could be Richard Cooper’s final game in charge, depending on how hands on new manager Nigel Clough will be 24 hours into the new job, he could well be going all out to claim a big scalp in the FA Cup, so will possibly go with as strong a team as is possible.
The squad will no doubt be looking to impress ahead of a new era for the Stags. Look out for Premier League experience in the form of Nicky Maynard and Jordan Bowery as well as ex-Newcastle United man James Perch.
Possible XI: Stech, Gordon, Rawson, Perch, Benning, Maris, Lapslie, Charsley, McLaughlin, Bowery, Maynard
Last Time We Met...
Tuesday 12th August 2003: League Cup, 1st Round
Mansfield Town 1 - 2 Sunderland (Kyle (OG) 89’ - Artell (OG) 18’, Kyle 90’)
Sunderland: Poom, Williams (Wright), Clark, Babb, Gray (Oster), Piper, Whitley, Thornton, Kilbane, Flo (Kyle), Stewart Substitutes not used: Ingham, Thirlwell
Mansfield Town: Pilkington, Hassell, Clarke, Curtis (Day), Artell, Dimech, Lawrence, Williamson, Christie (White), Mendes, Corden (MacKenzie) Substitutes not used: White, Disley
The bookmakers clearly think Sunderland are favourites at 4/11 and have a Mansfield victory at 13/2 and 4/1 that they take us to a replay.
For a correct score, a close 1-0 victory for Sunderland is on offer at 24/5 and a victory by a more comfortable margin such as 2-0 is 9/2 with a 3-0 at 7/1. Mansfield to get the only goal of the game and win 1-0 is priced at 20/1.
Despite question marks over who Phil Parkinson might rest, Charlie Wyke is favourite to open the scoring for Sunderland once again and is available at 11/4, closely followed by Chris Maguire and Danny Graham at 7/2.
In terms of the player who might come into the side, Jack Diamond and Will Grigg are both 4/1, and for an outside bet with a little more value, Dan Neil is 12/1 to get the first goal.
Even though we are expecting a much different Sunderland starting line-up to what we’ve seen recently, Mansfield are one of two sides without a win in League Two so far this season so we should be expecting a routine win.
Sunderland 2 - 0 Mansfield Town