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Match Preview: Lincoln City v Sunderland

Back to League One action for Lee Johnson and Sunderland and today it’s an away trip to high-flying Lincoln City - here is everything you need to know ahead of kick-off!

Rochdale v Hull City - Sky Bet League One Photo by Dave Howarth - CameraSport via Getty Images

Lincoln City v Sunderland

Sky Bet League One

Sincil Bank

Kick-Off: 3.00pm - Saturday 12th December 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!


Regardless of the competition, Lee Johnson recorded his all important first victory as Sunderland manager in midweek and will be determined to build on it. The Black Cats are desperate for a good run to keep in touch with the top-six.

Using the form book as reference, a victory at Sincil Bank would be some achievement for Lee Johnson as Sunderland have not recorded a victory in League One since beating Ipswich Town on the 3rd November.

Last season’s trip to Lincoln was the first in League competition since the 1960-61 season and was also Jack Ross’ final game in charge of Sunderland.

Lincoln City v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Sunderland’s defeat at Sincil Bank last season was Jack Ross' final game in charge of Sunderland.
Photo by Andrew Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

Michael Appleton’s Lincoln are one of the form sides in League One after a third of the season is complete, winning their last three successive games. They currently sit second, only two points behind Hull City with a defensive record that equates to conceding only a single goal every three games.

After promotion in 2018-19, Appleton has managed to keep the progression rolling after the departure of Danny Cowley in September 2019, by finishing mid-table as the remaining fixtures were abandoned last term and a flying start to the current season.

Lincoln City New Manager Michael Appleton Press Conference
Michael Appleton
Photo by Chris Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

Sunderland Team News

It appears Lee Johnson is going for 4-3-3 if his first two games are anything to go by and it would be a surprise if he went with a different formation at Sincil Bank.

It will be a big call to leave McGeady out after last week’s performance and possibly an even bigger call to leave Jack Diamond on the bench after impressing midweek. My guess is that Chris Maguire is the man to make way.

Possible XI: Lee Burge, Conor McLaughlin, Bailey Wright, Tom Flanagan, Callum McFadzean, Grant Leadbitter, Max Power, Josh Scowen, Jack Diamond, Aiden McGeady, Will Grigg


Lincoln City Team News

Michael Appleton made six changes for the Papa John’s Trophy tie during the week, where they defeated Shrewsbury 4-1 away from home. They have also won the last three fixtures in League One so many of those players will likely return to the side.

Possible XI: Palmer; Eyoma, Montsma, Walsh, Melbourne; McGrandles, Jones, Grant; Anderson, Hopper, Johnson

Lincoln City v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Chris Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

Last Time We Met... at the Sincil Bank

Saturday 5th October 2019: Sky Bet League One

Lincoln City 2 - 0 Sunderland (Walker 18’, 59’)

Sunderland: J. McLaughlin, C. McLaughlin, Willis, Lynch, De Bock (Grigg), Maguire (McNulty), Power, McGeouch, Gooch (McGeady), O’Nien, Wyke Substitutes not used: Burge, Flanagan, Leadbitter, Dobson

Lincoln City: Vickers, Eardley, Toffolo, O’Connor (Connolly), Bolger, Shackell, Andrade (Hesketh), Morrell, Walker, Payne, Grant Substitutes not used: Smith, Melbourne, Chapman, Anderson, Akinde

Attendance: 10,264


Match Betting

The bookies see this as a close one, with Sunderland at 13/8, and a home victory priced at 9/5, the draw, which many might fancy, is priced at 21/10.

For a correct score, a one-all draw is the favourite at 9/2, and a Lincoln victory by a single goal and a goalless draw are both 13/2. Sunderland to get the only goal of the game and win 1-0 is priced at 11/2 and a repeat of the midweek 2-1 to Lee Johnson’s side is priced at 17/2.

Oldham Athletic v Sunderland: Papa John’s Trophy Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Match Prediction

Lincoln are a form side in League One, and Sunderland have one the worst sequence of results in recent games in the division, yet I still fancy us to avoid defeat. Is that just hope or is that sign of improvement in the one whole week Lee Johnson has been in charge?

Lincoln City 1 - 1 Sunderland