Saturday 6th November 2021
(L1) Sunderland v Mansfield Town (L2)
Emirates FA Cup
Stadium of Light
Tickets & Match Coverage
Tickets: Tickets are available online via SAFC here.
TV/Stream: Full live match coverage is unavailable.
Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Radio Newcastle (not online)
Is this a good time to pause from League One action and begin our FA Cup campaign against League Two opposition?
By 5pm this afternoon we should be in a decent position to provide an answer to that question - but right now it’s a mix of optimism that it could help us put a few things right on the pitch and concern that a defeat could be a new low blow that we could do without right now.
There is every chance that had form continued over the past three League One fixtures then this afternoon would be a relaxed Saturday afternoon with some younger players getting an outing without too much emphasis if we progress or not - especially due to our League Cup commitments during the festive period.
This afternoon’s game now has perhaps more importance where potential repercussions may result in Lee Johnson putting out a reshuffled strong side to face League Two’s Mansfield Town to stop the rot and get back the winning habit.
It’s almost as if someone felt sympathy for Mansfield fans in not being able to attend their victory at the same stage of the FA Cup last season at the Stadium of Light and has given them an opportunity to witness it first hand.
Unbelievably, it is the same two sides fighting it out in exactly the same tie as one year ago and the Stags will be aiming to repeat their exploits of November 2020.
Mansfield Town have struggled since the departure of David Flitcroft in May 2019 following defeat on penalties in the play-off semi-final to Newport County, but the appointment last November of Nigel Clough at Field Mill had raised hopes going into his first full season.
However, things haven’t quite gone to plan after a 12 game run without a win that followed picking up 7 points out of 9 in the first three fixtures in League Two. The injury list during the poor run provided mitigating circumstances, and the pressure was increasing as they slipped down the table.
But last weekend's emphatic 2-0 win over Tranmere Rovers as important players have returned to fitness has suggested a corner has been turned and they head into today’s fixture full of confidence and with nothing to lose.
(League competition only)
Sunderland are unsurprisingly odds-on favourites at 1/3 despite losing our last three in League One while Mansfield Town are 8/1 to make it through to the 2nd round in 90 minutes.
The draw is 17/5, and a 2-0 win for Sunderland is favourite at 5/1, followed by a 1-0 home win at 11/2.
The shortest price for an away win is 20/1 for 1-0 and for a more convincing 2-0 win to Mansfield is priced at a longer 45/1.
Head to head...
(In all competitions)
- Sunderland wins: 5
- Draws: 0
- Mansfield Town wins: 1
- Sunderland goals: 13
- Mansfield Town goals: 4
Last time we met... at the Stadium of Light
Saturday 7th November 2020
Emirates FA Cup 1st Round
Sunderland 0-1 Mansfield Town
Sunderland: Matthews, McLaughlin, Sanderson, Flanagan, Diamond, Dobson, Power, McFadzean (O’Brien), Maguire (Embleton), Graham (Wyke), Grigg Substitutes not used: Burge, Willis, Leadbitter, Neil
Mansfield Town: Stech, Gordon, Benning, Maris, Rawson, Perch, Charsley, Lapslie, Bowery, Maynard (O’Keefe), McLaughlin Substitutes not used: Stone, O’Driscoll, Menayese, Sinclair, Cook, Reid
Played for both...
Lawrence started his career at Mansfield and made well over a century of appearances before signing for Sunderland in the summer of 2004 for around £200,000. He would help us to promotion to the Premier League during his three years at the club before he signed for Stoke City in January 2007.
The Republic of Ireland international had spells at Portsmouth, PAOK, Barnsley, Shrewsbury and Bristol Rovers before retiring in 2017.