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Match Preview: Sunderland v Ipswich Town - Can the Lads get back on track?

After a run of three straight defeats we take on Ipswich Town at the Stadium of Light looking to get back to good form - here’s everything you need to know ahead of kick-off!

Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images

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Saturday 20th November 2021

(7th) Sunderland v Ipswich Town (9th)

Sky Bet League One

Stadium of Light

Kick-Off: 15:00


Tickets & Match Coverage

Tickets: Tickets are available online via SAFC here.

TV/Stream: Full live match coverage available via www.safc.com to residents outside the UK and Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man only.

Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Radio 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!


The build-up...

Almost five weeks ago things were seemingly going so well, but fast forward six games without a victory (although we were ultimately victorious on pens at QPR after a goalless draw) and the pressure is on.

And no matter what the ‘played’ column states in the League One table, the visual of dropping out of the play-offs does have a certain impact on morale.

But on the flip-side we are back at the Stadium of Light after a run of only one fixture on home soil in the last six. This came in the form of a defeat to struggling Charlton side who were on the back of a managerial change and in a game that could have went either way, saw the officials influencing the outcome.

The way Sunderland setup this afternoon will provide many clues on the current thinking to get out of our current dip in form. Will Lee Johnson be more conservative even though we have conceded the fewest at home in League One so far this season, or will it be more of the same with an extra spring in our step?

It’s Johnson’s first test with his new young squad and all eyes are on how we react after the international break.

Sunderland v Bradford City - EFL Trophy
Lee Johnson
Photo by Will Matthews/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

After taking over at Ipswich Town back in March, Paul Cook immediately dropped hints that the squad would need an overhaul in the summer - and with 19 signings in the window, he did just that.

But with all the fanfare of the new signings came the extra pressure and when Paul Cook’s side had to wait until their 7th league fixture of the season to pick up maximum points, they were up against it. A run of two defeats in the last eleven fixtures has provided temporary relief for the former Wigan Athletic manager, but they still trail the play-off places by four points.

By not reaching the play-offs in their first two attempts after relegation from the Championship, Paul Cook has been backed to achieve that target this year by the club, and a win away at the Stadium of Light will prove they have turned the corner and could be in for a successful season to come.

Ipswich Town v Oxford United - Sky Bet League One - Portman Road
Paul Cook
Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images

League One Form...


The betting...

Despite the recent form the Lads are 11/8 to take all three points today, while an away win for Ipswich is priced at 19/10 and the draw is 12/5.

In terms of correct score, a 1-1 draw is slight favourite at 9/2, with a 1-0 win for the Lads close behind at 13/2 and a 1-0 Ipswich win is priced at 15/2. A more convincing 2-0 home victory is 9/1.


Head to head...

(At the Stadium of Light/Roker Park in all competitions)

  • Sunderland wins: 17
  • Draws: 3
  • Ipswich Town wins: 7
  • Sunderland goals: 43
  • Ipswich Town goals: 26

Last time we met... at the Stadium of Light

Saturday 3rd November 2020

Sky Bet League One

Sunderland 2-1 Ipswich Town

(Wyke 8’, Leadbitter (pen) 84’ - Lankester 38’)

Sunderland: Burge, McLaughlin, Wright, Flanagan, O’Nien, Leadbitter, Scowen (Power), Hume, Gooch (Sanderson), Maguire (Graham), Wyke Substitutes not used: Matthews, Diamond, O’Brien, Grigg

Ipswich Town: Holy, Chambers, Ward, Dozzell, Nsiala, McGuinness, Edwards, Judge, Jackson (Hawkins), Bishop, Lankester (Bennetts) Substitutes not used: Cornell, Kenlock, Wilson, Huws, Sears

Sunderland v Ipswich Town - Sky Bet League One
Grant Leadbitter scores the winning goal the last time the two sides met at the Stadium of Light
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

Played for both...

Eric Gates

Born in County Durham but started his career at Ipswich Town and went on to have 12 successful years at Portman Road that included winning the UEFA Cup and gaining two England caps.

Was signed by Lawrie McMenemy in 1985 for £150,000 and would be part of Denis Smith’s side to drag us back to the top flight from the old Third Division before leaving for Carlisle United in 1990.

Eric Gates
Eric Gates
Photo by Ben Radford/Getty Images

Chris Makin

Signed from Marseille in 1997 and would be a mainstay of Peter Reid’s side through our record breaking title winning promotion side and the Premier League side that finished 7th in consecutive seasons.

Left in 2001 to sign for Ipswich Town and would stay there for three years before leaving for Leicester City in 2004.

Chris Makin
Chris Makin
Getty Images

Andy’s Player Ratings: Cambridge United 1-2 Sunderland - Massive three points for Johnson’s men!

FEATURES!

On This Day (27 Nov 1949): Happy Birthday to former Sunderland star Dennis Tueart - 72 today!

MATCH PREVIEWS!

Score Predictions: Can Sunderland go one better than they did in midweek?