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Match Preview: Everything you need to know ahead of Sunderland’s trip to Plymouth Argyle!

It’s the long trek to Plymouth for the Lads this afternoon - here’s everything you need to know ahead of kick-off!

Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images

Saturday 1st May 2021

(18th) Plymouth Argyle v Sunderland (4th)

Sky Bet League One

Home Park

Kick-Off: 3.00pm


Match Coverage

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!


All of the focus is now on securing a play-off place by any means necessary so preparations can begin as soon as possible for the task ahead.

There’s been no win in 7 games now for Lee Johnson, and it’s vital we avoid a nerve jangling last day of the season where our place in the post-season agony that is the play-offs is still in question. A number of players look as though they could need a rest and by securing our top six place would at least give Lee Johnson the option in the final fixture against Northampton Town.

A win today could be vital for us to head into the play-offs in the right frame of mind.

Sunderland v Blackpool - Sky Bet League One
Hopefully Lee Johnson will be smiling this afternoon before having to make the long trek home
Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Plymouth might be on a pretty horrendous run that has seen 9 defeats in 13 fixtures in League One, but having been one of the favourites to go straight back down to League Two they find their place in the third tier preserved for another year with two games remaining.

This could work either way for Sunderland where Plymouth could be on the metaphorical mid-pandemic beach already or the pressure could be off them to end the season on a high.

Home form alone this season would see Argyle joint 5th in League One having won precisely half of their 22 home fixtures so far this season, so they could well provide a test for us if they’re in the mood this afternoon.

Blackpool v Plymouth Argyle - Sky Bet League One
Plymouth Argyle’s Manager Ryan Lowe
Photo by Dave Howarth - CameraSport via Getty Images

League One Form Guide

Last five games...


Sunderland Team News

Dion Sanderson was ruled out for the rest of the season this week, but there was also news that Conor McLaughlin is ahead of schedule and could feature this afternoon. It would be a surprise if he went straight into the starting XI considering the speed of his recovery but good to have more numbers and more options.

Tom Flanagan and Jake Vokins are closing in on a return but still aren’t ready to be involved in a matchday squad.

Possible XI: Burge, Power, Wright, O’Nien, Hume, Winchester, Leadbitter, Jones, McGeady, Stewart, Wyke

Sunderland v Accrington Stanley - Sky Bet League One
Carl Winchester - who will get the nod in central midfield for Sunderland today?
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Plymouth Argyle Team News

Conor Grant may be in contention for one of the spots in midfield having recently returned to training, but Sam Woods is ruled out with a hamstring problem in addition to Adam Lewis and Will Aimson who are both nursing ankle injuries.

Possible XI: Cooper, Edwards, Watts, Opoku, Law, Moore, Camara, Fornah, Mayor, Ennis, Jephcott


Last Time We Met... at Home Park

Saturday 3rd November 2018

Sky Bet League One

Plymouth Argyle 0-2 Sunderland

(McGeady 53’, 78’ (pen))

Sunderland: J. McLaughlin, Matthews, Flanagan, Baldwin, James, Gooch (Mumba), McGeouch, Honeyman, McGeady, Maguire (O’Nien), Maja (Sinclair) Substitutes not used: Ruiter, Loovens, Ozturk, Kimpioka

Plymouth Argyle: Macey, Moore, Grant, Fox (Lameiras), Songo’o, Canavan, Carey, Sarcevic, Ladapo, Ness, Grant Substitutes not used: Letheren, Smith-Brown, Grant, O’Keefe, Jephcott, Dyson

Attendance: 12,065

Plymouth Argyle v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Aiden McGeady sticks away his second of the game from the spot the last time the two sides met back in November 2018
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Played For Both

Russell Anderson

Signed for Sunderland after 11 years and almost 300 appearances for Aberdeen in the summer of 2007 for £1 million, and then proceeded to make 2 appearances in 3 years. In fact he made 14 appearances in a loan spell at Plymouth Argyle whilst on the Sunderland books in 2008.

Finished his career back at Aberdeen via Derby County when he hung up his boots in 2015.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Wigan Athletic v Sunderland - JJB Stadium
Russell Anderson
Photo by John Walton - PA Images via Getty Images

Lee Chapman

Another one who only played a handful of games between the two sides, having played on loan at Plymouth as a 19-year-old when starting out at Stoke City. Joined Sunderland in 1983 after a move to Arsenal didn’t work out and only made 17 appearances with 4 goals thrown in before heading to South Yorkshire and Sheffield Wednesday.

Probably best known for winning a league title at Leeds United and being married to Leslie Ash after that.

Soccer - Canon League Division One - Sheffield Wednesday v Sunderland
Lee Chapman playing against Sunderland for Sheffield Wednesday after leaving Roker Park for Hillsborough in 1984
Photo by Peter Robinson/EMPICS via Getty Images

Head to Head... at Home Park

In all competitions...

Played: 13

Sunderland wins: 4

Draws: 3

Plymouth wins: 6

Goals for Sunderland: 17

Goals for Plymouth: 16


Match Betting

With both sides in poor form the bookies have Sunderland as favourites being priced at 23/10, while Plymouth are 15/2, and the draw 15/4.

In terms of correct score, a 1-0 Sunderland victory is 11/2, and seems goals might be on the cards according to the bookmakers with a goalless draw on offer at 10/1.

Charlie Wyke is 12/5 to open the scoring for Sunderland and 4/5 anytime scorer and if you think it might take our next top scorer Grant Leadbitter to break the deadlock he is priced at 15/2, and 27/10 to score at anytime.

Sunderland v Blackpool - Sky Bet League One Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Match Prediction

The win is the important thing at the moment, don’t really care how we get it.

Plymouth Argyle 0-1 Sunderland

FAN LETTERS!

Fan Letters: ‘It’s great to hear and see the bond forming between the team and fans’

OPINION!

Just how impressed were you with how Lee Johnson’s Mackems performed?

REPORT & PLAYER RATINGS!

Talking Points: Just how good can this Sunderland team be?!