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Sunderland v Hull City - Carabao Cup First Round

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Match Preview: Blackpool v Sunderland - the Lads go on the road in the Carabao Cup

It’s another break from the League One schedule as Lee Johnson decides how much to shuffle the pack in the second round of the Carabao Cup - here’s everything you need to know ahead of kick-off!

Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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Tuesday 24th August 2021

(CH) Blackpool v Sunderland (L1)

Carabao Cup

Round Two

Bloomfield Road

Kick-Off: 19:45

Tickets & Match Coverage

Tickets: Ticket information for tonight’s tie can be found here. Tickets are now available online via SAFC here.

TV/Stream: Full live match coverage is not available. Further information can be found here.

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!

The build-up...

Sunderland haven’t faced Blackpool in the League Cup since 1964 when both sides were top flight clubs - on that occasion, the Lads ran out 4-1 winners through a brace from John O’Hare and one each for George Herd and Johnny Crossan.

Back in the 1964-65 season it was only the fifth year that the competition had been in existence and as both sides were top-flight clubs it wasn’t out of the question that both us and Blackpool had aspirations to win the League Cup, this time, however, things are very different.

Sunderland’s focus this season is all about success in League One and returning the club back to the Championship, and the Carabao Cup presents conundrums for Lee Johnson to navigate.

Our squad is a work in progress, especially in terms of strength in depth and it’s another balancing act as to who gets another 90 minutes tonight at Bloomfield Road for a competition I doubt we’re really planning to progress in.

Burton Albion v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
How many changes will Lee Johnson make ahead of the visit to Blackpool tonight?
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Blackpool have a similar dilemma to Sunderland but for very different reasons. Neil Critchley has worked wonders since taking over in March 2020, where after three seasons of mid-table mediocrity since promotion from League Two, he led them to promotion to the Championship via the play-offs.

As a signal of how they’re settling into life in the second tier, Blackpool’s only victory so far this season came in this competition when they took apart Neil Warnock’s Middlesbrough 3-0 almost two weeks ago. Other than that, the Tangerines have picked up two promising away draws at Bournemouth and Bristol City, but their home form has deserted them with defeats to Coventry City and Cardiff City at Bloomfield Road.

This has left Critchley’s side occupying the final relegation spot after four games, and tonight’s tie with the Lads could be looked upon as a chance to gain some much-needed confidence on their home patch, or on the other side of the coin, a distraction they could do without.

In terms of former Sunderland players, look out for Reece James who joined Blackpool from Doncaster Rovers in the summer.

AFC Bournemouth v Blackpool - Sky Bet Championship
Blackpool manager Neil Critchley salutes the fans at the end of their draw AFC Bournemouth at the weekend
Photo by Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images

Form Guide...

(In all competitions)

Head to head... at Bloomfield Road

(In all competitions)

Sunderland wins: 9

Draws: 9

Blackpool wins: 12

Sunderland goals: 37

Blackpool goals: 51

The Betting...

It’s tough to call when nobody really knows the extent of how much either squad will be shuffled, but the bookies fancy a home win at 5/4 while the draw is 11/5 and the Lads are 2/1 to progress in 90 minutes.

In terms of a final score, the odds suggest it could be tight with a 1-1 draw favourite at 5/1. A victory via the only goal of the game for Blackpool is 6/1 and 7/1 is on offer for Sunderland to nick it with the only goal.

Last Time We Met... at Bloomfield Road

Saturday 17th April 2021

Sky Bet League One

Blackpool 1-0 Sunderland

(Garbutt 58’ )

Sunderland: Burge, Power, Wright, O’Nien, McFadzean (Hume), Jones (Diamond), Leadbitter, Scowen (Gooch), McGeady, O’Brien (Stewart), Wyke Substitutes not used: Matthews, Winchester, Maguire

Blackpool: Maxwell, Turton, Garbutt, Dougall, Ballard, Gretarsson (Thorniley), Mitchell (Lawrence-Gabriel), Ward, Yates, Simms (Robson), Kaikai (Husband) Substitutes not used: Moore, Ekpiteta, Holmes

Blackpool v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Luke Garbutt scoring the winner against Sunderland at Bloomfield Road back in April
Photo by Dave Howarth - CameraSport via Getty Images

Played for Both...

Michael Chopra

Chopra had only made 21 appearances in the top flight before signing for Sunderland for £5 million in the summer of 2007 from Cardiff City.

He scored the winner on his debut against Tottenham Hotspur on the opening day, and everything went a bit downhill for multiple reasons from that point. Joined Blackpool in 2013 after spells with Cardiff City and Ipswich Town.

Fulham v Sunderland - Premier League
Michael Chopra celebrating a goal at Fulham in 2008
Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Bobby Kerr

What can we say about the “Little General”? He overcame two broken legs to become a club legend. Winning the FA Cup and making 433 appearances over 12 years from 1966 until he left in 1978. He will always be remembered and loved on Wearside.

When he left, it was to join Blackpool and link up with Bob Stokoe, but he returned to the North-East to join Hartlepool United a year later to finish his career.

Soccer - Sunderland AFC Photocall - Roker Park
Happy days
Photo by PA Images via Getty Images


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