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

After a quiet week at the Stadium of Light... we can get back to the footy as Coventry City travel north to take on the Lads - here’s all you need to know ahead of kick-off!

Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

Saturday 23rd December 2023

(7th) Sunderland v Coventry City (15th)


Stadium of Light

Kick-Off: 15:00

Tickets & Match Coverage

Tickets: Tickets are available via

TV/Stream: Full live match coverage is available via

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...

It’s been a funny old week. One that began badly on the pitch and then off the field matters took over after the final whistle at Ashton Gate last Saturday - but we can get back to the footy and hopefully winning way this afternoon in what is our first Saturday 3pm kick-off since we took on Norwich City in late-October.

In midweek it was announced that Michael Beale is the man designated with the task of kicking us on to the next level and it works out nicely that he begins his Sunderland career at the Stadium of Light.

With much emphasis during midweek on the importance of the existing coaching staff, it will be safe to assume that we won’t see any major changes to the setup in such a short space of time.

We might not have beaten Coventry in the last three meetings at the Stadium of Light, but since the referee-influenced defeat to Middlesbrough, the Lads have won four of the last five on home soil - with the outlier being an off day against Huddersfield Town.

Sunderland Unveil New Head Coach Michael Beale
Michael Beale
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Last season ended in heartbreak for Coventry City when they were beaten by play-off finalists Luton Town, and the presumption was that they would be challengers again this season, but as it stands they have some work to do.

Losing the likes of Viktor Gyokeres and Gustavo Hamer in the summer was always going to be tough to match their best league finish since relegation from the Premier League back in 2000-01. Still, big-money additions like Ellis Simms and record-signing Haji Wright have not hit the ground running to match the heights of last season.

However, one defeat in the previous seven games, a run that includes playing three of the top four, suggests that they may be starting to find a rhythm.

An away point at high-flying Leeds United and an impressive 3-0 victory at Millwall in those results also suggest a change in fortunes on the road, but as it stands only five sides currently have a worse away record than the Sky Blues on their travels.

Leeds United v Coventry City - Sky Bet Championship - Elland Road
Coventry City manager Mark Robins
Photo by Ian Hodgson/PA Images via Getty Images

The betting...

The bookies have the Lads down as favourites at evens, while an away win is priced at around 5/2 and the draw is 23/10.

Head to head... at Sunderland

(All competitions)

  • Sunderland wins: 9
  • Draws: 10
  • Coventry City wins: 2
  • Sunderland goals: 24
  • Coventry City goals: 11

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

Saturday 31st July 2022


Sunderland 1-1 Coventry City

[Clarke 12’ - Gyokeres 84’]

Sunderland: Patterson, Gooch, Ballard, Batth, Cirkin, Clarke, Evans, Neil, Pritchard (Roberts), Embleton (O’Nien), Stewart Substitutes not used: Bass, Hume, Wright, Alese, Simms

Coventry City: Moore, Eccles (Dabo), Bidwell, Hyam, McFadzean (Tavares), Panzo, Allen (Palmer), Sheaf, Gyokeres, Godden (Walker), Hamer Substitutes not used: Wilson, Rose, Doyle

Attendance: 40,851

Sunderland v Coventry City - Sky Bet Championship
Jack Clarke heads home the opening goal when the two sides last met at the Stadium of Light
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Played for both...

Stern John

Stern John signed for Sunderland for an undisclosed fee during the 2007 January transfer window after three successful years at Coventry City.

Chipping in with the odd important goal and being an effective option as a substitute to see games out, John was that something different we needed to see us over the line.

He would go on to be a makeweight in the deal that brought his Trinidad and Tobago teammate Kenwyne Jones to Sunderland from Southampton the following season.

Birmingham City v Sunderland - Barclays Premier League
Stern John
Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images


Match Report: Toothless Sunderland Lose 2-1 to 17th Place Swansea


On This Day (25th February 1961): Goodchild’s sweet goodbye against Leeds United


Matchday Musings: Swansea City spoil the party at Sunderland

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