Tuesday 7th December 2021
(5th) Sunderland v Morecambe (20th)
Sky Bet League One
Stadium of Light
Tickets & Match Coverage
Tickets: Tickets are available online via SAFC here.
TV/Stream: Full live match coverage available via www.safc.com.
Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Radio Newcastle (not online)
Tonight is only the third-ever meeting between the two sides and the first clash in the Football League. The first fixture between Sunderland and Morecambe came nine years ago in the League Cup 2nd round when Martin O’Neill’s Premier League side ran out 2-0 winners against the League Two side.
More recently, we met at the Globe Arena in the group stage of the EFL Trophy back in November 2018 where Sunderland were once again the winning side, this time via the only goal of the game, scored by Josh Maja. Incidentally, that game was also Dan Neil’s debut for the club.
Fast forward to December 2021 and we are meeting in league competition for the very first time, and there is an expectation that the result should have the same outcome as the previous meetings – which provides another layer of pressure following Saturday’s failure to convert one of many opportunities to take all three points.
Although the result from the weekend wasn’t ideal, the performance in the second half did show signs that we could rekindle some of the spark we had in the early part of the season and tonight’s fixture perhaps provides a perfect opportunity to build on that performance.
With a top-of-the-table clash at home against Plymouth Argyle to follow on Saturday, anything less than than a win tonight would only increase the pressure once again in the build-up to the weekend.
Before last season’s promotion campaign that ended up with victory in the play-off final at Wembley against Newport County, Morecambe had not finished higher than 18th in League Two in the previous five years.
This upturn in fortunes began with the resignation of Jim Bentley who had presided over the two meetings between the two clubs mentioned previously, and the appointment of Derek Adams, who steered the club to last year’s promotion.
Ahead of the challenge of League One, however, Adams left to take charge at Bradford City and was replaced by Stephen Robinson, the former AFC Bournemouth and Luton Town midfielder, who resigned as manager of Motherwell after three years in charge at Fir Park in 2020.
They were inevitably one of the favourites for the drop this season and on the evidence of their current position, it could be a long season as they sit 20th and two places above the final relegation spot. On their travels, they last won at Fleetwood on the 20th November, but this was only one of two victories away from home from the nine so far, which has included six defeats.
League One Form...
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the bookies are backing the Lads at 4/9 to take all three points tonight, while a third away win of the season for Morecambe is priced at a long 6/1 and the draw is 10/3.
In terms of correct score, a 2-0 victory to the lads is favourite at 11/2, with a 1-0 win priced at at 6/1. A 1-1 draw is close behind at 7/1 and for double those odds at 14/1 is a 0-1 away win, with a more convincing 0-2 to Morecambe at a lengthy 33/1.
Head to head...
(Home and away in all competitions)
- Sunderland wins: 2
- Draws: 0
- Morecambe wins: 0
- Sunderland goals: 3
- Morecambe goals: 0
Last time we met... at the Stadium of Light
Tuesday 28th August 2012
League Cup - 2nd Round
Sunderland 2-0 Morecambe
(McClean 24’, 65’)
Sunderland: Westwood, Gardner, O’Shea, Bramble, Colback, Johnson, Cattermole (Meyler), Larsson, McClean (Campbell), Sessegnon, Fletcher (Saha) Substitutes not used: Mignolet, Kilgallon, Cuellar, Elmohamady
Morcambe: Roche, Fenton, Threlfall, Parrish, Fleming, Haining, Reid (Ellison), Wright, Alessanra (Redshaw), Brodie (Carlton), McDonald Substitutes not used: Arestidou, McCready, Drummond, Burrow
Played for both...
Wainwright was signed for Sunderland from Wrexham as a highly rated right winger, but didn’t really get the chance to prove it before moving to Darlington in 2001. After seven years, he made the move to Morecambe where he spent three years, making over 60 appearances.