Saturday 10th April 2021
(3rd) Sunderland v Charlton Athletic (7th)
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 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!
Eight games. Just eight games to go, and it’s in our hands. It’s going to be four weeks of nail biting nervous torture, and it begins today against Charlton at the Stadium of Light.
On the back of a successful Easter weekend where we won the home game against Oxford, without the aid of Northumbria’s finest, and avoided defeat at Peterborough, we face a tough test against a resurgent Charlton Athletic.
We need to go back to January 19th to find our last defeat at home, which came as Lee Johnson was still finding his feet and converting his new side to, well... attack.
We’re in good form, playing well, playing with confidence, it’s now all about keeping our nerve.
After losing Lee Bowyer almost four weeks ago there may have been fears that a the promotion chase was at risk.
Sitting 6th as Bowyer left for Birmingham City, it was an important decision on who would follow in the hot seat at the Valley - in the end it was Nigel Adkins who got the nod only two days later.
Since then the new manager has two games under his belt - a draw away to AFC Wimbledon two days after his appointment and a 1-0 win at Doncaster Rovers on Good Friday.
Postponements has meant Adkins has had time to impress his style on his new side, and no doubt his squad will want to extend their unbeaten run that currently stretches to seven, and prove that they are real contenders to gain promotion to the Championship for a second time in three years.
League One Form Guide
Last five games...
Sunderland Team News
It’s time once again to try and second guess what Lee Johnson might have up his sleeve for the visit of Charlton.
Denver Hume may be deemed to be fit enough to start from the off this weekend and Bailey Wright could feature in the matchday squad.
But it’s anyone’s guess if the central midfield pair or the one chosen to support Charlie Wyke up top will remain the same as last Monday, or see wholesale changes.
Possible XI: Burge, McLaughlin, Sanderson, O’Nien, McFadzean, Power, Scowen, Jones, McGeady, O’Brien, Wyke
Charlton Athletic Team News
Akin Famewo and Ryan Inniss should both be available for contention for selection in the Charlton back four, but Conor Washington is still unavailable due to his continued recovery from a hamstring injury.
Other than Washington, Nigel Adkins has a full squad to select from and after a few days to work with the squad on the training ground we may start seeing what the Adkins reign might look like at the Valley.
Possible XI: Amos, Gunter, Inniss, Pearce, Purrington, Pratley, Gilbey, Forster-Caskey, Millar, Stockley, Maatsen
Last Time We Met... at the Stadium of Light
Saturday 4th August 2018
Sky Bet League One
Sunderland 2 - 1 Charlton Athletic
(Maja 65’, Gooch 90’ - Taylor (pen) 10’)
Sunderland: J. McLaughlin, Love (Oviedo), Loovens, Ozturk, Matthews, Gooch, Mumba, O’Nien (Sinclair, (Molyneux)), Maguire, Honeyman, Maja Substitutes not used: Ruiter, Hume, Baldwin, Embleton
Charlton Athletic: Phillips, Marshall, Solly, Pearce (Sarr), Bauer, Page, Pratley, Lapslie, Taylor, Ahearne-Grant, Aribo Substitutes not used: Maynard-Brewer, Maloney, Hackett-Fairchild
Played For both
South Shields born Waghorn came through the ranks with the Lads to make his first team debut under Roy Keane during a 4-0 defeat to Manchester United at the Stadium of Light on Boxing Day 2007.
Being on the fringe of the Sunderland first team meant he had loan spells with Charlton Athletic and later Leicester City, where he impressed enough to convince the midlands club to part with a deal that had the potential to reach £3 million in 2010.
Injury impacted his first team appearances and resulted in loan spells at Hull City, Milwall and Wigan Athletic. Finally he made the to Scotland in the form of Glasgow Rangers in July 2015, who were aiming for promotion from the Scottish Championship and a return to the Scottish Premier League.
He would contribute twenty goals as Rangers achieved their goal and returned to the top flight after a four year absence. There, he continued to be a first team regular in the Scottish Premier League until he signed for Ipswich Town in the summer of 2017.
Waghorn would score 16 goals in his single season at Portman Road before Frank Lampard’s Derby County would offer a reported £5 million to take him to Pride Park where he is still part of the first team squad in his second season with the club.
Bent never looked back after becoming a prolific scorer for the Tractor Boys before signing for Charlton Athletic for £2.5million in June 2005, scoring twice on his debut against Sunderland.
Two years later, the reward for his good form at The Valley would be a £16.5million move to Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2007. Bent would spend two years in North London finishing with 18 goals in 60 Premier League games before moving north to Wearside.
Steve Bruce signed 25-year-old Darren Bent for an initial £10million that would eventually rise to £16.5million with add-ons. After scoring the winner on his debut against Bolton Wanderers, Darren Bent would end up scoring 25 goals in 40 appearances during 2009-10.
At this point we’ll try and focus on the good times remember because he then moved to Aston Villa for an initial £18 million.
Bent had loan spells at Fulham, Brighton and Hove Albion and Derby County before making the move to Derby permanent in 2015. Then a spell at Burton Albion in 2018 meant that he put us out of our misery when he scored in the game that sealed our relegation to League One. Great.
Head to Head... at the Stadium of Light
In all competitions...
Sunderland wins: 20
Charlton Athletic wins: 9
Goals for Sunderland: 72
Goals for Charlton Athletic: 44
The bookmakers fancy Sunderland at home this afternoon at 10/11, with Charlton 17/5, and the draw 23/10.
They still see it as a pretty tight game however and Sunderland to win with the only goal of the game is 24/5 with a 1-1 closely following at 5/1. Lee Johnson’s side put three past Oxford last time out and to repeat that without reply and win 3-0 is on offer at 14/1.
Once again Charlie Wyke is favourite to open the scoring for Sunderland at 13/5, even though he maybe isn’t as prolific as earlier this year, let’s hope he’s due one - he’s also available as a 19/20 anytime scorer.
Then we have Lynden Gooch, Chris Maguire, and Ross Stewart all at 5/1 to score the first for the Lads and 19/10 to net at anytime.
It could be another nervy afternoon, and I think we’ll edge it.