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Match Preview: Sunderland v Oldham Athletic - It’s knockout time in the Papa John’s!

It’s that time again in the Papa John’s trophy where we go to knockout stage and it’s the same opponents as last year in Oldham Athletic at the Stadium of Light - here’s everything you need to know ahead of kick-off!

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

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Wednesday 1st December 2021

(L1) Sunderland v Oldham Athletic (L2)

Papa John’s Trophy

2nd Round

Stadium of Light

Kick-Off: 19:00

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...

It’s knockout time in the Papa John’s after we topped Northern Group F and despite losing two of their three games, Oldham finished runners-up to last year’s finalists Tranmere Rovers in Northern Group B.

It’s also the same tie as last year, when the two sides met in the 2nd round of the Papa John’s trophy at Boundary Park at the beginning of 2020, that turner out to be Lee Johnson’s first victory as manager of Sunderland. On that occasion, we came from behind to win 2-1 with goals from Chris Maguire and Josh Scowen.

A year ago it was all about getting a win under our belts to instill some belief into the place after a run of seven games without a win that saw the end of Phil Parkinson’s tenure and the appointment of Lee Johnson. But a year later we’re in a much better position in League One, and with an ever-worsening injury crisis, progression in the competition is much lower in the list of priorities.

The same could possibly be said for Oldham Athletic, but for very different reasons. Without a win in ten games and looking for their ninth manager in three years after Keith Curle was sacked last week. With the Latics sitting second bottom of League Two, only a point ahead of Scunthorpe United who are rooted to the foot of the table, Oldham have nothing to lose at the Stadium of Light tonight.

Sunderland AFC v Mansfield Town: Emirates FA Cup First Round
Lee Johnson
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

The Rules...

Full competition rules can be found here, the following rules govern those of team selection:

Each EFL Club shall play its Full Available Strength in and during all Matches. Full Available Strength means the EFL Club must include at least four Qualifying Players in the ten outfield Players named in the starting eleven on the Team Sheet.

Qualifying Player means any Player who:

  • Had started the immediately preceding First Team Fixture (as defined below);
  • Subsequently starts the immediately following First Team Fixture;
  • Is in the list of ten Players at the Club with the highest number of starting appearances in First Team Fixtures* in the same Season;
  • Has made forty or more starting appearances in First Team Fixtures* or international equivalents (and not limited to the same Club or Season); or
  • Is on standard loan from a Premier League Club or any EFL Club operating a Category One Academy.

First Team Fixture means the League Competition, Premier League, EFL Cup or FA Challenge Cup (but shall, in the context of specified Rules*, also include this Competition).

Form guide...

(League One and League Two only)

The betting...

Even without knowing what side either manager will field, Sunderland are 1/3 favourites with the Latics being a longer 8/1 and the draw 10/3.

In terms of correct score, a 2-0 win for the Lads is favourite at 9/2, followed by a 1-0 home win at 11/2 with a 2-0 win for Oldham priced at a long 45/1.

Head to head...

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

  • Sunderland wins: 14
  • Draws: 4
  • Oldham Athletic wins: 5
  • Sunderland goals: 51
  • Oldham Athletic goals: 26

Last time we met... in Sunderland

Saturday 23rd March 1996

Endsleigh League Division One

Roker Park

Sunderland 1-0 Oldham Athletic

(Scott 81’)

Sunderland: Given, Kubicki, Melville, Ord, Scott, Agnew, Bracewell, Ball, Gray, Russell (Howey), Stewart (Bridges) Substitutes not used: Hall

Oldham Athletic: Gerrard, Snodin, Graham, Redmond, Serrant, Halle, Rickers, Richardson, Gannon (Beresford), McCarthy, Barlow Substitutes not used: Hallworth, Lonergan

Attendance: 20,631

Martin Scott scored the winner the last time the two sides met on Wearside

Played for both...

Chris Makin

The St Helens-born full-back started his career at Oldham in the early 1990’s, making over 100 appearances before moving to France and Marseille in 1996.

A year later he’d sign for Sunderland 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

Oldham Athletic v Tranmere Rovers - Endsleigh League Division One - Boundary Park
Chris Makin
Photo by Barrington Coombs/EMPICS via Getty Images

Ian Snodin

Born in Rotherham, Snodin started out at Doncaster Rovers before moving on to Leeds United in 1985 and then high-flying Everton two years later where he would stay for eight years.

Played six games for Sunderland on-loan from Everton under Mick Buxton for spending two years at Oldham before leaving for Scarborough in 1997. His brother Glynn was the assistant manager to Simon Grayson at Sunderland.


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