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Match Preview: Shrewsbury Town v Sunderland - back on the road with a trip to Shropshire!

It’s an immediate opportunity for the Lads to backup the win at the weekend as we travel to the West Midlands to take on Shrewsbury Town - here’s everything you need to know ahead of kick-off!

Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images

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Tuesday 23rd November 2021

(21st) Shrewsbury Town v Sunderland (6th)

Sky Bet League One

Montgomery Waters Meadow

Kick-Off: 19:45

Tickets & Match Coverage

Tickets: Tickets are available online via SAFC here.

TV/Stream: Full live match coverage available via

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!

The build-up...

Saturday’s win over Ipswich Town felt a bit more than just three points. Rightly or wrongly it felt like a potential indicator on where we stand in terms of a likely outcome this season. Many fans are clearly concerned that the good foundation set at the start of the season was being undone by not only bad results, but poor performances.

This is where Saturday has seemed to have then confused fans, because the result was very good, but the performance for some was still not up to scratch. The bottom line was, however, that we collected maximum points against a promotion rival who were in form.

Tonight provides an opportunity for the side to show that once we’ve got a victory under our belts and the run of defeats is halted, we can now start playing without the added pressure of turning around a bad run of results.

The games in hand are also a factor in keeping up the heat on the sides above, as they are fully aware that we are lurking just behind them with the potential to leap frog them into the automatic promotion spots. Once again, all eyes will be on tactics, personnel and performance as we ultimately aim to get three points - no pressure then.

Sunderland v Ipswich Town - Sky Bet League One Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

After seven months away from the dugout, it was great to see Steve Cotterill return to the sidelines to take charge of Shrewsbury Town in pre-season after his recovery from COVID-19.

Since promotion to League One in 2015 they have finished in the bottom half of the table in five out of the six seasons they have spent in the third tier so it’s probably no surprise that they find themselves in a similar position this season.

Sitting 21st and occupying the final relegation spot, their current position suggests it’s going to be a long hard season, although it is their home form that is keeping them from being cut adrift at the moment.

They have won half of their eight home games so far this season with their last two providing maximum points in October against Cambridge United and MK Dons, whilst on the road they are yet to record a victory with only two points gained from nine games.

The New Meadow is where Steve Cotterill’s side are currently picking up points and this is their first game on home soil since the 23rd October, so will be eager to take the scalp of a promotion favourite in order to drag themselves out of trouble at the wrong end of the table.

Cheltenham Town v Shrewsbury Town - Sky Bet League One
Steve Cotterill
Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

League One Form...

The betting...

The bookies are backing the Lads at evens to take all three points tonight, while a home win for Shrewsbury is priced at 13/5 and the draw is 5/2.

In terms of correct score, a 1-1 draw is favourite at 5/1, with a 0-1 win for the Lads priced at at 13/2. A 0-2 to Lee Johnson’s side is priced the same as a 1-0 win for the Shrews at 17/2, while a 1-2 win for Sunderland is 10/1.

Head to head... at the New Meadow

  • Sunderland wins: 4
  • Draws: 1
  • Shrewsbury Town wins: 2
  • Sunderland goals: 8
  • Shrewsbury Town goals: 5

Last time we met... at the New Meadow

Tuesday 9th February 2021

Sky Bet League One

Shrewsbury Town 2-1 Sunderland

(Ebanks-Landell 52’, Chapman 67’ - O’Brien 21’)

Sunderland: Matthews, Power (O’Nien), Willis (Sanderson), Wright, Vokins (Diamond), Jones (Gooch), Leadbitter, Scowen, McGeady, O’Brien, Wyke Substitutes not used: Burge, McLaughlin, Maguire

Shrewsbury Town: Sarkic, Love, Ogbeta, Goss (Edwards), Ebanks-Landell, Williams, Chapman (Daniels), Vela, Main (Udoh), Norburn, Whalley Substitutes not used: Burgoyne, Golbourne, Davis, Pyke

Shrewsbury Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Aiden O’Brien celebrates putting Sunderland in front the last time the two sides met at Shrewsbury
Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Played for both...

Michael Heathcote

Born in County Durham, Heathcote was signed by Denis Smith from Spennymoor Town in 1987, but would only make 10 appearances before signing for Shrewsbury Town in 1990 for £50,000. After only a year, the central defender moved on, and after longer spells at Cambridge United and Plymouth Argyle, he would return to Shrewsbury for a second time in 2001.

Ian Atkins

Birmingham-born Atkins started his career at Shrewsbury Town and made over 300 appearances before heading north to Sunderland in 1982. He would make 87 appearances for the Lads before heading off to sign for Everton in 1984.

He went on to play for Ipswich Town, Birmingham City, Colchester United, Cambridge United and Doncaster Rovers before hanging his boots up to move into coaching. One of his roles in coaching took him back to Sunderland where he was Terry Butcher’s assistant manager in he early 1990’s.

Sport. Football. League Division One. Villa Park, Birmingham, England. 29th August 1983. Aston Villa 1 v Sunderland 0. Sunderland’s Ian Atkins.
Ian Atkins
Photo by Bob Thomas Sports Photography via Getty Images


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