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

Michael Beale’s Sunderland head to Humberside in an attempt to put Saturday’s shitshow behind them - here’s all you need to know ahead of kick-off!

Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

Saturday 26th December 2023

(6th) Hull City v Sunderland (9th)


MKM Stadium

Kick-Off: 15:00

Tickets & Match Coverage

Tickets: Tickets are sold out.

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...

Well, as first days in the job go, things went about as badly as they possibly could have for Michael Beale as he stood on the touchline and watched his side battered by Coventry on Saturday afternoon. We played some canny stuff as we always do, but as has also become the norm for Sunderland recently, our defending was terrible and we couldn’t convert our chances, meaning we conceded three sloppy goals without return.

The jeering and booing during the game may have come as a result of a series of issues that inevitably boiled over and then spilled onto the pitch, but one thing it must surely have taught Beale is that he will not get a huge amount of time to prove himself to our supporters, and defeats like the one at the weekend can’t happen too often again.

Taking all that into account, and the fact our away form has been pretty rotten this season, you’d probably have to admit that a trip to sixth-placed Hull wasn’t at the top of Beale’s Christmas list this year - even without the way the last game played out, this is one of the toughest games of the season to date.

The loss of Niall Huggins to what looks to be a season-ending injury means Beale is going to have to shuffle the pack regardless, and after such a heavy defeat it’ll be interesting to see just how many changes he makes to his side. Jenson Seelt played well against Leeds and didn’t really deserve to lose his place so you’d imagine he’ll come back in, and up top we need to try something different and bring a striker into the side - food for thought.

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

The Tigers have really found their feet in the Championship under the management of Liam Rosenior, and having moved into the playoff positions recently I suspect it’s going to be rather difficult to dislodge them given the quality they have in their ranks.

Thankfully for Sunderland, Jaden Philoene is out with a knee injury and won’t be back until the end of January, and he’s been one of the top performers in the Championship this season having scored six goals and registered five assists.

Still, they have the likes of Ozan Tufan (who is their top scorer with 7 goals this season), Scott Twine, Aaron Connolly, Liam Delap and Jean Seri all fit and playing well, so it’s sure to be a tough game regardless of which players we face.

They did lose last time out - a 3-2 defeat to Bristol City at Ashton Gate - but a couple of good wins last week against Boro and Cardiff show they’ve got goals in their team and are more than capable of exploiting Sunderland’s leaky defence.

As always, it feels like it comes down to which version of Sunderland turn up - if it’s the one we got against Leeds then Hull will really struggle to beat us, but if it’s the one that played Coventry we’ll be left feeling embarrassed again, with the pressure on the club’s decision-makers and new Head Coach cranking up as we head into the New Year.

Ho ho ho...

Middlesbrough v Hull City - Sky Bet Championship - Riverside Stadium
Hull City manager Liam Rosenior
Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images

The betting...

The bookies have this down as a close one, with the Lads priced at 7/4, while a home win is offered at around 7/5 and the draw is 9/4.

Head to head... at Hull

(All competitions)

  • Sunderland wins: 8
  • Draws: 7
  • Hull City wins: 8
  • Sunderland goals: 28
  • Hull City goals: 30

Last time we met... at the MKM Stadium

Saturday 17th December 2022


Hull City 1-1 Sunderland

[Tufan 82’ - Stewart 74’ (Embleton sent-off 59’)]

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

Hull City: Ingram, Coyle (Sinik), Greaves, Woods, Christie, McLoughlin (Vale), Smith (Tufan), Seri, Estupinan, Slater, Longman Substitutes not used: Lo-Tutala, Elder, Figueiredo, Docherty

Attendance: 18,120

Sunderland v Blackburn Rovers - Sky Bet Championship
Ross Stewart scores the opening goal when the two sides last met at the MKM Stadium
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Played for both...

Tony Norman

Between the two clubs, Tony Norman made over 600 appearances over the course of 15 years. An incredible servant to both clubs and a fantastic goalkeeper on his day.

Played a major role in returning Sunderland to the top flight under Denis Smith and made some vital saves to help the Lads reach the FA Cup final in 1992.

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Tony Norman
Photo by Neal Simpson/EMPICS via Getty Images


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