Sunderland v Hull City - Carabao Cup, 1st Round
Stadium of Light
Kick-Off: 3pm - Saturday 5th September, 2020
TV/Stream: Full live match coverage available via www.safc.com
Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Newcastle (not online)
There’s something not quite right about starting the competitive season with a fixture in the Carabao Cup, but with the luck of the draw we have a scenario where Sunderland and Hull City have the opportunity to lay down a marker for the League One campaign ahead.
Even though we’ve had a condensed pre-season, and we start with a Cup game, this has the feel of an important League One fixture before a ball is even kicked in the competition.
Both teams are desperate to get out of League One and back into the Championship after years of mismanagement, having both been relegated from the Premier League in the 2016-2017 season.
As a consequence of the situation the two clubs find themselves in, and level of performance seen under their stewardship last season, ex-Hull City manager Phil Parkinson and his current Hull City counterpart Grant McCann begin the season under immense pressure to hit the ground running – and this could well be the springboard both managers are looking for.
Paradoxically the League Cup is way down on the list of priorities for both sets of fans, but the need for a win means this game is worth much more than it might appear on paper.
Sunderland Team News
Some interesting decisions need to be made by Phil Parkinson going into the game. Dan Neil and Jack Diamond have impressed during pre-season and are pushing for a starting place, while strikers WIll Grigg and Charlie Wyke compete for what will likely be the lone striker role.
Conor McLaughlin is unavailable after being named in Ian Barraclough’s first squad as Northern Ireland boss, but Tom Flanagan could be involved after withdrawing from the squad as his wife is due to give birth.
Also unavailable is Elliot Embleton, who picked up an injury against Gateshead, as well as new signing Arbenit Xhemajli, who wasn’t signed in time to be part of the squad.
Possible XI: Lee Burge, Tom Flanagan, Bailey Wright, Jordan Willis, Luke O’Nien, Josh Scowen, Max Power, Denver Hume, Chris Maguire, Lynden Gooch, Charlie Wyke
Hull City Team News
Grant McCann begins the new season without Josh Magennis (Northern Ireland) and James Scott (Scotland) through international duty. Lewis Coyle is unavailable via suspension, while Callum Elder and Leonardo Da Silva are out through injury. Leo Lopes is also unlikely to be involved after requesting to leave the club.
George Honeyman looks likely to make his first return to Sunderland since his departure in 2019 and up to five players could possibly be handed their debut by Grant McCann, including Josh Emmanuel, Greg Doherty and Richie Smallwood, who could be handed the captaincy on his debut.
Possible XI: George Long, Josh Emmanuel, Reece Burke, Jordy de Wijs, Brandon Fleming, Richie Smallwood, Greg Doherty, George Honeyman, Keane Lewis-Potter, Mallik Wilks, Tom Eaves
Last Time We Met
Saturday 20th January 2018: Sky Bet Championship
Sunderland 1 - 0 Hull City (Joel Asoro, 20mins)
Sunderland: Ruiter, Jones (Matthews), Oviedo, Browning, O’Shea, Clarke-Salter, Honeyman, Cattermole, Maja (Gooch), Robson, Asoro. Substitutes not used: Steele, Galloway, Love, McManaman, McGeady
Hull City: McGregor, Tomori, Aina, Meyler, Dawson, Hector, Toral (Henriksen), Larsson, Campbell (Keane), Evandro (Dicko), Bowen. Substitutes not used: Marshall, Mazuch, Clark, Henriksen
Sunderland are evens to win in 90 minutes with the help of home advantage according to the bookmakers, with Hull City at 13/5. If you think that it might take a penalty shoot-out to separate the sides, then a draw is 5/2.
The first goalscorer market has Chris Maguire favourite for Sunderland at 9/2 followed by Charlie Wyke at 5/1. And if you fancy a punt on the inevitable George Honeyman goal to be the opening strike of the game, he is available at 10/1.
In terms of correct score the bookies see a tight game with a 1-1 draw being the slight favourite at 5/1 over a 1-0 win for Sunderland at 13/2.
I’m with the bookies on this - I think both teams will be scared to lose, and we’re in for a tight, cagey affair...
Sunderland 1 - 1 Hull City (Sunderland to win on penalties)