Tuesday 2nd March 2021
(5th) Sunderland v Swindon Town (18th)
Sky Bet League One
Stadium of Light
TV/Stream: Full live match coverage available via www.safc.com
Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Sunderland DAB and BBC Radio Newcastle (not online)
A bittersweet draw at Crewe on Saturday means that getting three points back at the Stadium of Light against League One strugglers Swindon Town tonight is vital to keep the pressure on the sides above us.
Lee Johnson has his side looking as effective at home as they are away, which has resulted in winning three of the last four on home turf. The gap to the top two is now down to six points, and Lincoln, Hull and Portsmouth are tripping over themselves to offer us opportunities to capitalise.
We have to go all the way back to February 1993 to find a Swindon victory on Wearside. A 1-0 victory for Glenn Hoddle’s Swindon through a Paul Bodin goal. It was Terry Butcher’s first game as manager with two penalty misses from Armstrong and Ball thrown in for good measure. Let’s hope tonight will be a routine victory.
Around three weeks after our reverse fixture that Sunderland won 2-0 back in mid-October, Swindon Town were dropped a bombshell when popular manager Richie Wellens resigned to take up the post at Salford City in League Two.
At the time, the Robins occupied the last relegation spot in League One after nine league game. Fast forward around four months and 22 league games later, and Swindon are sitting 18th, protecting a three point gap to the bottom four.
This is a much better place than John Sheridan’s side found themselves at the beginning of last month as they sat third from bottom and deep in trouble, but three victories in the last six games have propelled them, at least for now, into a position of relative safety.
Despite the recent upturn in form, Swindon still boast the worst away record in League One, taking only nine points from a possible 42 on the road so far, and with Sunderland only defeated once in 15 so far you would expect Swindon to look at the fixture as a ‘free hit’.
League One Form Guide
Last five games...
Sunderland Team News
No further injuries to add to the treatment table other than Grant Leadbitter from the weekend, but no players returning from fitness to be able to feature.
Sunderland’s lacklustre performance at the weekend may tempt Lee Johnson into freshening things up for tonight’s visit of Swindon Town. As a reward for their late repair job on Saturday, Jordan Jones and Chris Maguire could well earn promotions to the starting XI with Gooch and O’Brien the likely figures to drop to the bench.
Possible XI: Burge, McLaughlin, Sanderson, O’Nien, McFadzean, Power, Scowen, Maguire, McGeady, Jones, Wyke
Swindon Town Team News
Swindon have suffered from a goalkeeping crisis this season and will have an emergency loan signing between the sticks tonight in the form of Connal Trueman from Birmingham City.
Expect a rare 4-4-1-1 formation from John Sheridan as they will likely set up with Scott Twine supporting top scorer Brett Pitman up top.
Possible XI: Trueman, Hunt, Grounds, Conroy, Broadbent, Payne, Palmer, Garrick, Thompson, Twine, Pitman.
Last Time We Met... at the Stadium of Light
Saturday 6th February 1999
Nationwide Football League Division One
Sunderland 2 - 0 Swindon Town
(Quinn 28’, Phillips 30’)
Sunderland: Sorensen, Makin, Melville, Butler, Gray, Summerbee, Clark, Ball, Johnston (Bridges), Quinn (Dichio), Phillips Substitutes not used: Williams
Swindon Town: Talia, Kerslake, Hall (Gooden), Howe, Taylor, Borrows, Walters, Ndah, Onuora (Griffin), Hay, Davis (Robinson)
Played For both
Summerbee started his career at Swindon Town, making well over 100 appearances for the Robins between 1989-1994, where he played a part in Swindon’s brief stay in the Premier League in 1993.
Three years at Manchester City followed before a move to Sunderland that involved Craig Russell moving in the opposite direction. Summerbee played 108 times for Sunderland during some of the best years in recent times as Peter Reid took us to successive seventh place finishes in the Premier League.
Hall signed for Sunderland for a fee of £300,000 after ten years at Chelsea, during Peter Reid’s first full season in charge. Played a handful of games as Sunderland won the First Division title and were promoted to the Premier League.
He made 37 appearances the following season, but was released after relegation and signed for Swindon, making almost 100 appearances between 1998-2001.
Head to Head...
In all competitions...
Sunderland wins: 14
Swindon Town wins: 10
Goals for Sunderland: 51
Goals for Swindon Town: 34
Sunderland are understandably outright favourites to take all three points at 4/9, with Swindon 6/1 to cause an upset at the Stadium of Light and the draw on offer at 10/3.
For correct score the bookies have priced a 1-0 Sunderland at 11/2, with a 2-0 closely followed at 5/1. If you fancy the home side to open the floodgates, then a 3-0 is 17/2 and a 4-0 is a more tempting 16/1.
Charlie Wyke is the obvious favourite to hit the net for Sunderland at 9/4 for the opener and 7/10 anytime scorer with Chris Maguire next in line at 4/1 to get the ball rolling and 11/8 anytime scorer.
All things considered, this should still be a comfortable night for Sunderland.