Saturday 24th April 2021
(3rd) Sunderland v Accrington Stanley (12th)
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)
Whilst it’s still mathematically possible to finish in the automatic promotion positions, most of the focus will be on gaining momentum to enter into what is likely to be another trip through the League One play-offs.
We’re without a win in five games and although we were possibly unfortunate not to get more out of the last two fixtures and the performances are improved, we need to get back to winning ways.
After finishing 14th and 17th in their two seasons in League One to date, Accrington Stanley are having a very solid season. John Coleman’s side have been bobbing around the edges of the play-offs for most of this term they might now sit six places off the top six in 12th, but are still only five points behind.
They visit the Stadium of Light with a mixed record on the road and have lost almost half their games, where 9 in 21 have ended in defeat so far. They have also relied heavily on top scorer Dion Charles who is third top scorer behind Clarke-Harris of Peterborough and Charlie Wyke in League One this season.
League One Form Guide
Last five games...
Sunderland Team News
Aiden McGeady was rated at 50/50 to return by manager Lee Johnson, so is unlikely to be in the starting XI.
Conor McLaughlin, Tom Flanagan and Jake Vokins are all close to returning to full fitness but are still unavailable for selection.
Possible XI: Burge, Power, Wright, O’Nien, Hume, Winchester, Scowen, Jones, Gooch, O’Brien, Wyke
Accrington Stanley Team News
Joe Pritchard and Joe Maguire are back in contention, but a good result last time out at home to Doncaster Rovers, where they came from behind to claim all three points with a 2-1 victory, may result in an unchanged side visiting the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland need to be wary of Dion Charles who has 19 goals to his name this season so far.
Possible XI: Savin, Rodgers, Nottingham, Barclay, Burgess, Conneely, Butcher, McConville, Philips, Charles, Bishop
Last Time We Met... at the Stadium of Light
Friday 15th February 2019
Sunderland 2-2 Accrington Stanley
(Honeyman 55’, McGeady 62’ - Kee 30’ (pen), Smyth 52’)
Sunderland: McLaughlin, O’Nien, Baldwin, Dunne, James, Gooch (Morgan), Leadbitter (Power), Honeyman, McGeady, Wyke (Maguire), Grigg Substitutes not used: Ruiter, Flanagan, McGeouch, Cattermole
Accrington Stanley: Maxted, Johnson, Donacien, Barlaser, Hughes, Sykes (Richards-Everton), Clark, Conneely (Brown), Kee, Smyth (Armstrong), McConville Substitutes not used: Evtimov, Gibson, Nolan, Zanzala
Played For both
Armstrong made his debut at home to West Bromwich Albion exactly a month after the defeat in the Milk Cup final to Norwich City, and would go on to become one of Sunderland’s top ten all time appearance makers ending his time on Wearside with 416 outings for the Lads.
Armstrong’s eleven eventful years as a professional with Sunderland included three promotions, three relegations, a Play-Off final, a testimonial at Roker Park against Porto, and an FA Cup final.
He was also the first Sunderland midfielder since Bobby Kerr to score 50 League goals for the club, which included a memorable last minute winner at Roker Park against Chelsea that took Sunderland to an FA Cup semi-final in 1992.
After leaving for Bury in 1996, Armstrong eventually joined Accrington Stanley in 2003, via five years with Burnley, where he made thirteen appearances in 2003-2004.
John Mullin was one of Peter Reid’s first signings for Sunderland in the summer of 1995, signing for a tribunal-set £40,000 from Burnley that would increase based on appearances.
He had the honour of scoring the last ever goal at Roker Park when he scored the only goal in the ‘Farewell to Roker Park’ match against Liverpool in 1996, and would go on to make 45 appearances for Sunderland before leaving for Burnley in 1999.
He eventually signed for Stanley via Rotherham United and Tranmere Rovers in 2008 where he made 32 appearances over the next two years.
Head to Head...
In all competitions...
Sunderland wins: 5
Accrington Stanley wins: 0
Goals for Sunderland: 13
Goals for Accrington Stanley: 4
The bookmakers have Sunderland as heavy favourites to take all three points tonight at 8/15, while Accrington Stanley are 11/2, and the draw 3/1.
In terms of correct score, a 1-0 Sunderland victory is favourite at 5/1, and as a sign of confidence that there will be goals, a goalless draw is priced at 11/1.
Charlie Wyke is 23/10 to open the scoring for Sunderland and 8/11 anytime scorer.
Can we just have a routine, no drama, no fuss victory please?