Saturday 11th September 2021
(1st) Sunderland v Accrington Stanley (2nd)
Sky Bet League One
Stadium of Light
Tickets & Match Coverage
Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Radio Newcastle (not online)
It was a case of so far, so good as we entered the international break. Top of the table after five games, with four victories under our belts but with a long way still to go.
The break would have been seen as an opportunity to bed in the new signings into what their roles might be going forward, with six of our nine signings in the window coming after our opening game of the season against Wigan Athletic. This also includes deadline day signings Thorben Hoffman and Leon Dajaku who have had a chance to get a feel of the place before kicking a ball.
On paper, September presents an opportunity for Lee Johnson’s side to solidify our position at the top of the table with three games at the Stadium of Light out of the next four. A good start to the month could be vital in building momentum for the season ahead.
Sunderland and Accrington have met six times since the first encounter in April 2018 and we have yet to lose to Stanley, which is something John Coleman will be looking to put right this afternoon. But on the other hand, we’ve yet to defeat Stanley at the Stadium of Light.
Things were looking good halfway through last season when they were sitting just outside of the play-offs, but COVID-19 outbreaks within the squad combined with other injury problems meant they finished 11th and 7 points off the top-six.
Taking into account Accrington were plying their trade in the 7th tier of English football only 20 years ago, it was still an incredible achievement. But John Coleman has big ambitions for his side and made comments last season that he believed that promotion to the Championship was a distinct possibility.
They have had another good start this time out as well as they sit level on points with ourselves in the top two, although having played a game more. Whilst most other sides had a break during the international break, Accrington were in action last weekend, picking up three points at home to Shrewsbury via the only goal of the game.
League One Form...
It might be the top two in the early League One table, but the bookies fancy a home victory for Sunderland at 8/13 while John Coleman’s side are 4/1 to take all three points with the draw at 3/1.
In terms of a final score, a 1-1 draw is favourite at 11/2, closely followed by a 1-0 Sunderland victory at 6/1, just ahead of 2-1 and 2-0 to the Lads at 7/1.
Stanley are 12/1 to win with the only goal of the game, 14/1 to take the game 2-1 and a longer 22/1 for a more convincing 2-0 victory, with a goalless draw priced at 11/1.
Head to head...
(In all competitions)
Sunderland wins: 4
Accrington Stanley wins: 0
Sunderland goals: 16
Accrington Stanley goals: 7
Last time we met... at the Stadium of Light
Saturday 24th April 2021
Sky Bet League One
Sunderland 3-3 Accrington Stanley
(Wyke 6’, 11’, Power 83’ - Bishop 51’, O’Nien (OG) 68’, McConville 85’)
Sunderland: Burge, Power, Wright, O’Nien, Hume, Winchester (Diamond), Scowen, Gooch (Leadbitter), McGeady (Stewart), O’Brien (Jones), Wyke Substitutes not used: Matthews, McFadzean, Maguire
Accrington Stanley: Savin, Rodgers, Burgess, Conneely, Barclay, Nottingham, Phillips, Butcher (Smyth), Charles, Bishop, McConville Substitutes not used: Buckley, Perritt, Morgan, Uwakwe, Russell, Mansell
Played for both...
Michael Liddle signed a professional contract with Sunderland in the summer of 2008 but his only first team appearance in January 2010 when Steve Bruce brought him on from the bench for the last ten minutes of an FA Cup 3rd round tie with Barrow.
Liddle moved to Accrington Stanley in 2012 where he went on to make 66 appearances for Stanley before leaving in 2015.
Midfielder Armstrong made his debut a month after the defeat in the Milk Cup final to Norwich City in 1985 and went on to make 416 appearances for the Lads over eleven years.
He experienced three promotions, three relegations, a play-off final, a testimonial at Roker Park against Porto, and an FA Cup final, but will always be remembered for a memorable last minute winner at Roker Park against Chelsea that took Sunderland to an FA Cup semi-final in 1992.
He joined Bury in 1996, and after a spell at Burnley, signed for Accrington Stanley in 2003 where he made 13 appearances.