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Match Preview: Northampton Town v Sunderland

It’s the new year and Sunderland return to action after an enforced break with a trip to Northampton Town and here is everything you need to know ahead of kick-off!

Swansea City v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images

Northampton Town v Sunderland

Sky Bet League One

PTS Academy Stadium

Kick-Off: 3.00pm - Saturday 2nd January 2021

Match Coverage

TV/Stream: Full live match coverage available via

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!

Sunderland return to League One action as 2021 begins with a fixture backlog that will likely stretch Lee Johnson’s squad to the limit. Last time out AFC Wimbledon took a point back to South London in unusual circumstances with Sunderland confirming positive test results for COVID-19 twenty-four hours later.

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

Due to the enforced break that Sunderland and many other League One clubs have had to endure, the table is a bit of a mess in terms of working out where things stand and which teams are still in action. But, Lee Johnson will be aware that his side have won one game in the last five in League One and a good run of form is vital as the games come thick and fast.

After finishing sixth in League Two at the point of abandonment during 2019/20, the Cobblers comfortably beat Exeter City in the play-off final to reach League One where they appear to be still finding their feet.

Keith Curle’s side have lost four out of the last five but did beat Gillingham 3-1 at home on the 29th December helping them to climb out of the relegation zone where they now hover in 19th.

It’s a first trip to Northampton Town for Sunderland since December 1987, where Sunderland came away with a 2-0 victory that was the beginning of a run of eight wins in the next nine games - that would do very nicely right now.

Northampton Town v Gillingham - Sky Bet League One
Keith Curle
Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

Sunderland Team News

Although it was an opportunity for injuries to clear it may have come to soon for Luke O’Nien and Denver Hume who will likely need more time to recover. It’s also difficult to know how Jordan Willis and Lynden Gooch have continued their progress in returning to fitness to make the first XI.

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

Northampton Town Team News

With a victory last time out against Gillingham after four straight defeats it would be a surprise if Keith Curle made too many changes to the XI that dragged them out of the bottom four.

Sam Hoskins in their main man from midfield with four goals to his name this season for the former Southampton youth player.

Possible XI: Mitchell, Jones, Bolger, Sheehan, McWilliams, Watson, Sowerby, Hoskins, Adams, Rose, Ashley-Seal

Northampton Town v Swansea City
Martin Smith is popular with both sets of fans as Sunderland take on Northampton Town this weekend
Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

Last Time We Met... at the PTS Academy Stadium

Saturday 12th December 1987: Barclays League Division Three

Northampton Town 0 - 2 Sunderland (Lemon 58’, Gabbiadini 87’)

Sunderland: Hesford, Kay, Bennett, MacPhail, Agboola, Owers, Lemon, Doyle, Armstrong, Gates, Gabbiadini Substitutes not used: Gray, Bertschin

Shrewsbury Town: Gleasure, Reed (Singleton), Logan, Donald, Wilcox, McPherson, McGoldrick, Culpin, Gilbert (Longhurst), Morley, Chard

Attendance: 7,279

Match Betting

The bookies see Sunderland as clear favourites at 6/10, and an unfancied home victory priced at 9/2, with the draw at 29/10.

The usual suspects are out in front to open the scoring for Sunderland with Charlie Wyke favourite at 3/1, closely followed by Will Grigg at 10/3 and Chris Maguire at 7/2. If you fancy Bailey Wright to continue his goalscoring exploits he is on offer at 28/1 to open the scoring for Sunderland.

Sunderland v AFC Wimbledon - Sky Bet League One
Can Bailey Wright repeat his exploits in front of goal as he did last time out against AFC Wimbledon?
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Match Prediction

I’ve got a feeling we might be a bit rusty and it could be a slog that we just need to find a way to collect all three points - it might take a set-piece to break the deadlock.

Northampton Town 0 - 1 Sunderland

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