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Match Preview: Plymouth Argyle v Sunderland - all you need to know ahead of kick-off!

After a fortnight without action, the Lads are back with a long trip down to Plymouth Argyle - here’s all you need to know ahead of kick-off!

Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images


Saturday 25th November 2023

(19th) Plymouth Argyle v Sunderland (6th)

Championship

Home Park

Kick-Off: 15:00


Tickets & Match Coverage

Tickets: Tickets are available via www.safc.com.

TV/Stream: Full live match coverage is available via www.safc.com.

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 www.RokerReport.com!


The build-up...

It’s felt like a long couple of weeks, where watching (or not bothering in my case) Gareth Southgate’s side struggle against Malta and North Macedonia didn’t help in the slightest to move things along any quicker.

But, the Lads are finally back in action this afternoon with the longest trip of the season down at Plymouth Argyle, and it’s worth reminding ourselves we travel on the back of a 3-1 home win over Birmingham City last time out.

This means that after three straight defeats, we’re now boasting a run of three games unbeaten, with two 3-1 victories at the Stadium of Light and a goalless draw at Swansea City. On the flip side, we are without a win on our travels in the previous three fixtures on the road.

As away trips go, our record isn’t too bad, although our last four are unbeaten at Home Park, those fixtures are spread across the previous 15 years.

Looking at the Championship table, the Lads are sitting five points behind Leeds United in 3rd and five points ahead of Watford in 13th, so with the league shaping up in its usual tight fashion, three points this afternoon would be welcome to put us on the right side of the chasing pack.

Sunderland v Birmingham City - Sky Bet Championship - Stadium of Light Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

Even though Argyle were surprise title winners in League One last year, they can look to either Ipswich Town or Sheffield Wednesday and think things could be a whole lot better or they could look doomed before Christmas.

Stephen Schumacher will no doubt be reasonably content with their start to the season as the busy festive season approaches. They may currently be sitting 19th in the table, only three above the drop, but they have a five point cushion over Rotherham United who occupy the final relegation spot.

Overall, they’re on a bad run with one win in the last eight games, but on home soil - where 13 of their 16 points have been accumulated so far - they have won two and lost two in the last five at Home Park.

Their previous two fixtures in November also provide optimism, where an encouraging performance at Leeds ended in a 2-1 defeat and in their last outing at Home Park, they twice came from behind to hold improving Middlesbrough to 3-3 draw.

With so much emphasis on picking up points in their own backyard, Plymouth will be hoping this afternoon can help widen the gap between themselves and the bottom three.

West Bromwich Albion v Plymouth Argyle - Sky Bet Championship
Steven Schumacher, manager of Plymouth Argyle
Photo by Gustavo Pantano/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Sunderland away form...


Plymouth Argyle home form...


The betting...

The bookies have the Lads as big favourites this afternoon at 21/20, while a home win is priced at around 11/5, and the draw is 13/5.


Head to head... at Plymouth

(All competitions)

  • Sunderland wins: 5
  • Draws: 4
  • Plymouth Argyle wins: 6
  • Sunderland goals: 20
  • Plymouth Argyle goals: 17

Last time we met... at Home Park

Monday 15th April 2022

League One

Plymouth Argyle 0-0 Sunderland

Sunderland: Patterson, Winchester, Wright, O’Nien (Gooch), Cirkin, Clarke, Matete (Neil), Evans, Embleton (Roberts), Broadhead, Stewart Substitutes not used: Burge, Hume, Batth, Xhemajli

Plymouth Argyle: Cooper, Sessegnon, Grant, Wilson, Scarr, Gillesphey, Camara (Randell), Houghton, Hardie (Garrick), Ennis (Jephcott), Mayor Substitutes not used: Burton, Law, Crichlow, Broom

Attendance: 15,800

Plymouth Argyle v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Dennis Cirkin in action when the two sides last met at Home Park
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Played for both...

Micky Horswill

The Durham-born midfielder came through the youth system at Roker Park to make his debut just over a year before the Lads’ famous victory over Leeds United at Wembley.

On route to lifting the FA Cup, Horswill played every game for Bob Stokoe’s side, including playing a major role in stopping Don Revie’s Leeds in the final. After 92 appearances and five goals, he moved to Manchester City in 1974 for a year before joining Plymouth Argyle.

He would make well over a century of appearances for the Pilgrims in a three year period before returning north to Hull City ahead of hanging up his boots in the early 1980’s.

Soccer - FA Cup Final - Sunderland v Leeds United
Micky Horswill in action during the 1973 FA Cup final
Photo by Peter Robinson/EMPICS via Getty Images


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