Monday 18th April 2022
(4th) Plymouth Argyle v Sunderland (7th)
Sky Bet League One
Tickets & Match Coverage
Tickets: Tickets available via www.safc.com
TV/Stream: Full live match coverage available via Sky Sports.
Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Radio Newcastle (not online)
We’re unbeaten in nine games, winning six of those nine, whilst only conceding five goals in that period - yet somehow still find ourselves sitting outside of the play-offs.
The only consolation to this, is the thought of where we might be if we had failed to score any of the eight goals (out of a total of 15) in the final ten minutes of the game since Alex Neil took charge.
Although we had a lapse of concentration against Shrewsbury our defensive record is speaking for itself recently. Friday’s fixture was only the second time in the eleven games so far under Alex Neil that we have conceded more than one, where five of those eleven have ended in clean sheets.
The late goals is also pointing towards a team spirit that has maybe been lacking in recent years, but the fact that we need them is a concern. Shrewsbury should have been put to the sword on Friday but we allowed them to get back into the game, which was a shame as it followed probably the best spell in terms of style of play under Neil we have seen to date.
If we assume MK Dons and/or Rotherham United have booked their play-off place it leaves four teams fighting it out over the remaining three spots, and this one is huge. With Sheffield Wednesday and Wycombe likely to pick up maximum points against Crewe and AFC Wimbledon respectively, defeat in this one would pile the pressure on for the losing side in making the top-six.
After promotion from League Two after finishing third in 2019-20, Plymouth struggled on their return the the third tier last season, only finishing 18th. This season, survival was the name of the game once again, until early in the season they realised they were doing rather well.
At the beginning of December, after twenty league games, they sat 4th in the table with everyone telling them it wouldn’t last and after manager Ryan Lowe left for Preston North End on 7th December, even the ardent Plymouth fan might have agreed.
But Lowe’s assistant, Steven Schumacher was handed the reigns at Home Park, and to the surprise of the rest of League One, has kept up the momentum, with the Pilgrims still in with a shout of a first return to the Championship in over a decade.
Recently however, they have taken a wobble, but only away from home where they have picked up only one point from the last two fixtures. Their home form is rock solid at the moment after a run of six straight victories at Home Park, all coming with clean sheets.
League One Form...
Sunderland Away Form...
Plymouth Argyle Home Form...
The bookies can’t split the two sides this afternoon with Plymouth at 13/8 to take all three points, with the Lads priced at 8/5 and the draw is 9/4.
It will come as no surprise that the shortest odds for a correct score is a 1-1 draw at 5/1 followed by a 1-0 win for Sunderland at 15/2.
Then we have a 1-0 Plymouth win and a 2-1 Sunderland win both priced closely behind at 8/1.
Head to head... at Home Park
- Sunderland wins: 5
- Draws: 3
- Plymouth Argyle wins: 6
- Sunderland goals: 20
- Plymouth Argyle goals: 17
Last time we met... at Home Park
Saturday 1st May 2021
Sky Bet League One
Plymouth Argyle 1-3 Sunderland
[Edwards 63’ (Opoku sent-off 64’) - Stewart 21’, Maguire (pen) 84’, Hume 90’]
Sunderland: Burge, McLaughlin (Winchester), Wright, O’Nien, Hume, Diamond (Maguire), Power, Scowen (Leadbitter), Jones, Gooch, Stewart (O’Brien) Substitutes not used: Matthews, McFadzean, Younger
Plymouth Argyle: Cooper (McCormick), Edwards, Law, Fornah, Watts, Opoku, Camara (Reeves), Grant, Hardie (Lolos), Ennis (Tomlinson), Mayor Substitutes not used: Craske, Moore, Jephcott
Played for both...
Spent 11 years and made almost 300 appearances for Aberdeen before signing for Sunderland in 2007 for around the £1 million mark, and then made just two appearances in three years at the Stadium of Light.
Which resulted in going out on loan from Sunderland, which took him to Plymouth Argyle temporarily in 2008 where he made fourteen appearances. Finished his career back at Aberdeen via Derby County when he hung up his boots in 2015.
Joined Plymouth on-loan from Stoke City as a 19-year-old but only made a handful of appearances before he broke through and experienced a big money move to Arsenal.
Unfortunately for Chapman this didn’t work out and he moved to Sunderland in 1983 but only made 17 appearances scoring four goals in the process at Roker Park before heading to Sheffield Wednesday and maybe more importantly teamed him up with manager Howard Wilkinson, who then took him to Leeds and the rest is history.