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Match Preview: Sunderland v Oxford United - The Lads return to League One action!

It’s back to the bread and butter of League One following our midweek distraction as we take on fellow promotion hopefuls Oxford United at the Stadium of Light - here’s everything you need to know ahead of kick-off!

Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images

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Saturday 4th December 2021

(5th) Sunderland v Oxford United (8th)

Sky Bet League One

Stadium of Light

Kick-Off: 15:00


Tickets & Match Coverage

Tickets: Tickets are available 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...

Today see’s the re-arranged game from 7th October when our original scheduled date was postponed due to international call-ups, and if it’s anything like our previous clash in April we could be in for some game.

This afternoon’s fixture kicks off a three-game run at the Stadium of Light, that could be vital in coming out of a busy festive season in a good position against a side that haven’t won on Wearside since a late Chris Allen goal in April 1994 gave Denis Smith’s side all three points after coming from two-down to win 3-2 at Roker.

Lee Johnson is seeing his injury list grow week after week at the moment, with the current casualties including Corry Evans, Aiden McGeady, Dennis Cirkin, Niall Huggins, Denver Hume and Luke O’Nien, who are definitely ruled out in addition to a couple of players who are leaving it late to decide if they are fit to take part this afternoon.

This makes it even more difficult to know which Sunderland side will turn up. After our run of three straight defeats in League One in late-October/early-November we have picked up seven points from nine on offer and another good result today would set us up nicely ahead of the visits of Morecambe and Plymouth in the week to come.

Sunderland v Oldham Athletic - EFL Trophy
Lee Johnson
Photo by Eddie Garvey/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

After finishing in the play-offs in League One for the last two years, Oxford are hungry to go one better this year, but a poor return from the month of September where they won one out of five games has meant they are playing catch-up since.

However, since they got back on track with an emphatic 5-1 win over Accrington Stanley at the back-end of September, they have gone on a run that has seen the U’s lose only once in the last nine. But, they have played four more games at the Kassam Stadium than they have on their travels and their away form so far this term is mixed.

Just eight points have been collected from seven games on the road where three have ended in defeat and two have provided maximum points, although they are unbeaten in their last three away from home.

With just three places in League One and three points separating the two sides in the table, throw into the mix a feisty previous fixture back in April and all the evidence points to a potentially entertaining afternoon in store at the Stadium of Light.

Ipswich Town v Oxford United - Sky Bet League One - Portman Road
You’re twisting my melon man...
Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images

League One Form...


The betting...

The Lads are 6/5 to take all three points today, while an away win for Oxford is priced at 21/10 and the draw is 5/2.

In terms of correct score, the bookies expect a tight game with a 1-1 draw priced at 11/2 favourite, with a 1-0 and 2-1 victories for the Lads close behind at 15/2. For Oxford to win by the same margins the odds lengthen to 9/1.


Head to head... in Sunderland

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

  • Sunderland wins: 11
  • Draws: 4
  • Oxford United wins: 2
  • Sunderland goals: 31
  • Oxford United goals: 9

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

Saturday 2nd April 2021

Sky Bet League One

Sunderland 3-1 Oxford United

[Gooch 45’, McGeady 81’, Power 90’ - Henry 21’ (Sykes sent-off 61’)]

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

Oxford United: Stevens, Forde (Winnall), Hanson, Brannagan (Grayson), Moore, Atkinson, Shodipo (Kelly), Henry (Lee), Taylor (Agyei), Sykes, Barker Substitutes not used: Eastwood, McNally

Sunderland v Oxford United - Sky Bet League One
It was fun last time the two sides met at the Stadium of Light, will we see fireworks this afternoon?
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Played for both...

Andy Melville

Melville began his career with Swansea City where he spent his first four years ahead of a move to Oxford United in the summer of 1990. It would be three years before Terry Butcher made a move to sign the Welsh international for an initial fee of £500,000 and also included Anton Rogan in exchange.

Melville would spend a successful six years on Wearside making over 200 appearances. A classy defender on his day, his final season would see him miss only two League games as Sunderland won the second tier with 105 points in 1999. Spells at Fulham, West Ham United and Nottingham Forest followed Sunderland before retirement in 2005.

English Soccer - Sunderland v Manchester United
Andy Melville
Photo by Matthew Ashton/EMPICS via Getty Images

Anton Rogan

One of Denis Smith’s final signings for Sunderland from Celtic in 1991, Rogan would spend two years at Roker Park making almost sixty appearances that included an FA Cup final in 1992.

A year later the Northern Irish international would be part of the deal that saw Andy Melville sign for Sunderland and see him move to Oxford United for two years. Spells at Millwall and Blackpool followed ahead of retirement in 1999.



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