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Match Preview: Sunderland v Middlesbrough - everything you need to know ahead of kick-off!

Whatever your take on the derby status of this game, it’s the closest we’ll get to one in the Championship this year as Middlesbrough pay us a visit - here’s all that’s worth knowing ahead of kick-off...

Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

Sunday 22nd January 2023

(12th) Sunderland v Middlesbrough (5th)


Stadium of Light

Kick-Off: 12:00

Tickets & Match Coverage

Tickets: Tickets available via

TV/Stream: Full live match coverage is available via Sky Sports.

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...

Last week was tough to take and a frustrating one for us all to take. Swansea were there for the taking and we put ourselves at a disadvantage and got nothing. This means we now sit seven places below today’s opponents, but maybe more importantly, only four points behind.

This means that irrespective of discussions relating to geographical considerations, today’s game is a big one. Our home form drastically needs to improve if we’re looking to achieve this season, as it would currently see us in the bottom six based on home form alone.

Our record against Boro’ isn’t convincing as we need to go back to 2008 to see a Sunderland win over today’s opposition at the Stadium of Light. Last time out in February 2018 was a 3-3 thriller that saw two red cards, but it was a strange game where most of us were already resigned to what the season would be like, let’s hope today is far removed from that visit almost five years ago.

Sunderland v Swansea City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Middlesbrough were fourth from bottom in the table when Michael Carrick took charge back in late October. Back then it seemed such a gamble to sack a manager like Chris Wilder replace him with someone who had never been a number one in his short time as a coach, but it now makes perfect sense as Michael Carrick has lifted them to fifth in the table.

While Boro’s recent away form has been impressive, they have only drawn one from the 14 fixtures on the road so far and only three teams have conceded more on their travels this season. On the flip-side, no team has scored more away from home so far this season.

Recently, Middlesbrough have won the last five consecutive games in all competitions and in their last game on the road came away with maximum points with a 3-1 win over Birmingham City.

Middlesbrough v Brighton & Hove Albion: Emirates FA Cup Third Round
Michael Carrick
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

The betting...

The bookies fancy an away win this afternoon with odds of 11/8, with the Lads priced at 15/8 to take maximum points and the draw is around 23/10.

Head to head... at Sunderland

(All competitions)

  • Sunderland wins: 39
  • Draws: 20
  • Middlesbrough wins: 14
  • Sunderland goals: 124
  • Middlesbrough goals: 75

Last time we met... at the Stadium of Light

Saturday 24th February 2018


Sunderland 3-3 Middlesbrough

[Asoro 11’, Williams 58’, McManaman 90’ - Bamford 49’, 68’ Leadbitter (pen) 53’]

Sunderland: Camp, Matthews, Kone, O’Shea, Calrke-Salter, Oviedo, Cattermole, McNair (Williams), Honeyman (McGeady), Asoro, Maja (McManaman) Substitutes not used: Steele, Jones, Browning, Robson

Middlesborugh: Randolph, Shotton, Friend, Besic, Ayala, Gibson, Traore, Leadbitter (Clayton), Assombalonga (Harrison), Bamford, Downing (Howson) Substitutes not used: Dimitrios, Cranie, Fry, Baker

Attendance: 29,048

Sunderland v Middlesbrough - Sky Bet Championship - Stadium of Light
There were six goals and two red cards the last time the two sides met at the Stadium of Light
Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

Played for both...

Brian Deane

Part of this inclusion was to simply confirm to myself that Brian Deane did in fact turn out in the red and white stripes of Sunderland - but it was the red and white stripes of Sheffield United where he made his name after starting out at Doncaster Rovers.

An impressive five years at Bramall Lane, where he will always have the distinction of being the first ever goalscorer in the Premier League, resulted in Deane signing for Leeds United before shorter stints back at Sheffield United, then on to Benfica, Middlesbrough, Leicester City, West Ham United, Leeds United (again) and Sunderland... before finishing with a third spell with the Blades.

Soccer - Coca-Cola Football League Championship - Ipswich Town v Sunderland - Portman Road
Brian Deane
Photo by Nigel French - PA Images via Getty Images

Colin Cooper

Durham-born Cooper started out at Middlesbrough in the mid-1980’s and made over 200 appearances in seven years before a moves to Millwall and Nottingham Forest that led to a return to Middlesbrough in 1998.

In the 2004-05 season Cooper joined the Lads and played a handful of games and eventually hung up his boots in 2006.

Soccer - FA Carling Premiership - Sunderland v Middlesbrough
Colin Cooper battles with Niall Quinn
Photo by Steve Morton/EMPICS via Getty Images


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