Saturday 20th August 2022
(18th) Stoke City v Sunderland (12th)
Tickets & Match Coverage
Tickets: Who knows?!
TV/Stream: Full live match coverage available via www.safc.com to residents outside the UK and Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man only.
Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Radio Newcastle (not online)
After spending the previous four years feeling pretty upset with anything that didn’t end in three points, the Championship is taking some getting used to. Two fixtures so far in the last seven days has yielded one point from six, yet we’re all pretty happy.
A good performance against QPR deserved more than the grandstand finish that maybe inevitably came, and our performance before the sending off and once we went two goals down at Bramall Lane in midweek filled us with pride and provided a bit of optimism about the season ahead.
But, and Alex Neil will be the first to admit this, at some point we need to make sure that we take care of collecting points as well. This week has highlighted our potential naivety where individual mistakes have cost us.
This afternoon offers an opportunity against a team who are yet to find their feet this season, to put together a performance and a result in the same 90 minutes.
Since Stoke City’s ten-year stay in the Premier League came to an end in 2018, it hasn’t quite gone to plan in the second tier. Paul Lambert, Gary Rowett, Nathan Jones and since November 2019, Michael O’Neill have all failed to finish higher than 14th in the table in their efforts to return Stoke to the top flight.
The big spending era of Gary Rowett now means that money is tight at the bet365 and Michael O’Neill has had a decent rebuilding job on his hands.
However, the locals are beginning to become restless with successive bottom half finishes and a continuation of their mixed start to the season would see the pressure increase exponentially on the former Northern Ireland manager.
For us to do this would mean we would need to reverse a fairly poor record in terms of our previous trips to Stoke, where we need to go back to February 2012 for our previous victory that came courtesy of a James McClean goal for Martin O’Neill’s side.
The bookies have Stoke as favourites this afternoon at 23/10 for the home win, with the Lads priced at 12/5 to pick up all three points and the draw is 9/4.
For a correct score, a 1-1 draw is the shortest odds at 24/5, followed by 6/1 for a 1-0 home win and a 1-0 away victory is close behind at 17/2.
Head to head... at Stoke
- Sunderland wins: 19
- Draws: 19
- Stoke City wins: 37
- Sunderland goals: 70
- Stoke City goals: 109
Last time we met... at the bet365 Stadium
Saturday 15th October 2016
Stoke City 2-0 Sunderland
[Allen 8’, 45’]
Sunderland: Pickford, Manquillo, Djilobodji, O’Shea, van Aanholt (Jones), Watmore, Rodwell (Anichebe), Ndong, McNair (Pienaar), Khazri, Defoe Substitutes not used: Domingues, Love, Gooch, Asoro
Stoke City: Grant, Bardsley (Adam), Pieters, Cameron, Shawcross, Indi, Shaqiri, Whelan, Bony (Walters), Allen (Muniesa), Arnautovic Substitutes not used: Given, Bojan, Diouf, Crouch
Played for both...
Bracewell was one of the best young prospects in the country when he broke through at Stoke City under manager Alan Durban, and it was some rare good fortune that resulted in the young midfielder following Durban to Sunderland in the summer of 1983.
He was so good in his first season that FA winners Everton took him to Goodison Park after only one year at Roker. Bracewell was part of possibly the greatest ever Everton side until a long term injury put him out of action.
The injury meant his Everton days were over and he signed once again for the Lads in 1989 and yet again in 1995 after a stint up the road, before retiring as a player at Fulham to begin a managerial career.
Stoke picked up a bargain from Middlesbrough in 1996 when they picked up Graham Kavanagh, who went on to make over 200 appearances for The Potters over the next five years.
A move to Cardiff City followed in 2001, where he enjoyed a successful four years and Roy Keane brought the midfielder to the Stadium of Light in 2006 after the Irish international spent a year at Wigan Athletic.
Kavanagh retired in 2011 after three years at Carlisle United.