Sunderland v AFC Wimbledon
Sky Bet League One
Stadium of Light
Kick-Off: 7.00pm – Tuesday 15th December 2020
TV/Stream: Full live match coverage available via www.safc.com
Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Newcastle (not online)
Lee Johnson’s Sunderland side will be full of confidence on the back of a four-goal haul against Lincoln City at the weekend, but tonight they go into the type of fixture that caused the previous two managers issues.
Mid-table AFC Wimbledon will be travelling north to the Stadium of Light looking to frustrate the home side as much as possible, and the new Sunderland manager will be aiming for his side to come out of the blocks quickly.
Lincoln City had a couple of gilt-edge chances to open the scoring but weren’t able to convert, which allowed Sunderland to take full advantage. Johnson will be looking at not giving the Dons the same opportunity tonight.
Despite only winning one of the last five League games, Sunderland sit only five points behind the automatic promotion places, and a good run over the festive period will raise hopes of a promotion push in 2021.
AFC Wimbledon’s recent form has been mixed with two wins in League One in the last five, but will be encouraged by a promising opening third of the season.
After surviving by the skin of their teeth with the curtailing of the 2019-20 season, they currently sit 14th in League One which would be seen as progress for the South London club, especially having recently moved into their new 9000-capacity stadium Plough Lane.
Sunderland team news
How do you change a side that has just ran out 4-0 winners away from home against a top-two side? I’m not sure Lee Johnson will if it’s his decision, but the only question mark could be Josh Scowen recovering from the knock he suffered at Lincoln.
Other than that we’d assume it’s same again – let’s hope the result is also a case of same again.
Possible XI: Lee Burge, Conor McLaughlin, Bailey Wright, Tom Flanagan, Callum McFadzean, Grant Leadbitter, Max Power, Josh Scowen, Jack Diamond, Aiden McGeady, Charlie Wyke
AFC Wimbledon team news
Manager Glyn Hodges made multiple changes ahead of their last outing at The Valley, which ended in a 5-2 defeat to Lee Bowyer’s Charlton Athletic.
With the best scoring record in the bottom half of League One they could well nick a goal at the Stadium of Light, but their poor defensive record could see us score a couple of our own. Joe Pigott is the main threat with nine goals to his name in League One.
Possible XI: Trueman Nightingale, Heneghan, Csoka McLoughlin, Woodyard, Hartigan, Reilly, Seddon, Longman, Piggott
Last time we met at the Stadium of Light
Saturday 24th August 2019: Sky Bet League One
Sunderland 3 - 1 AFC Wimbledon (Maguire 8’, 53’, 79’ - Appiah 34’)
Sunderland: J. McLaughlin, O’Nien, Ozturk, Willis, Hume, Gooch (Grigg), Power (McGeouch), Leadbitter, McGeady, Maguire (Dobson), Wyke Substitutes not used: Burge, C. McLaughlin, Flanagan, Embleton
AFC Wimbledon: Trott, O’Neill, Guinness-Walker, Kalambayi (Nightingale), Thomas, McDonald, Wagstaff, Hartigan, Appiah, Folivi (Connolly), Reilly (Pinnock) Substitutes not used: Tzanev, McLoughlin, Pigott, Roscrow
The bookies see Sunderland as clear favourites at 11/20, and an away victory priced at 5/1, with the draw at 3/1.
For a correct score, Sunderland to get the only goal of the game is favourite with the bookies at 5/1, with a 2-0 home win close behind at 11/2. A victory for the Dons by a single goal is a long 12/1.
After Sunderland’s rout at Lincoln there may be some interest with punters on who gets the first goal for the home side, and Charlie Wyke is favourite at 3/1, closely followed by Chris Maguire at 7/2. Jack Diamond and Aiden McGeady are both available at 5/1 for the opener, and a double of a 2-0 win to Sunderland with Diamond to get the first is on offer at 30/1.
It’s bizarre to say it but I’m predicting a two-goal victory because I don’t want to get carried away even though the potential is there to go one or two better. Predicting a two-goal victory under Parkinson was something that rarely crossed my mind – let’s just hope we don’t come back down to earth with a bump after Saturday.
Sunderland 2 - 0 AFC Wimbledon