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

With only the league now to concentrate on, we look to follow up our last home win against Boro with another one this afternoon as we entertain Paul Ince’s Reading at the Stadium of Light.

Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

Saturday 11th February 2023

(9th) Sunderland v Reading (17th)

Championship

Stadium of Light

Kick-Off: 15:00


Tickets & Match Coverage

Tickets: Tickets 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 back to league action this weekend as we find ourselves in a situation where it remains our sole focus of what is left of this season after Fulham progressed to the fifth round of the FA Cup in midweek.

Tony Mowbray will be keen to build on the result and the performance in our last outing in the Championship at the Stadium of Light when we comprehensively dismantled Middlesbrough almost three weeks ago.

This is especially true as Sunderland have yet to put back-to-back wins together at the Stadium of Light this season - and any success that might be achieved this term will likely hinge on us putting this right.

Five wins and five defeats in 14 fixtures at the SOL this season has meant we would sit 15th in a table based on home form alone. The Middlesbrough game, and to a lesser extent our effort against Fulham, does provide hope we can begin a run of results at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland v Fulham - FA Cup - Fourth Round Replay - Stadium of Light
“... it’s good to stay at the... “
Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

Paul Ince’s Reading side were tipped to struggle this season, and after an initial wobble they ended up being the early surprise package at the top of the table as they sat third in the table ahead of the return fixture in September.

Since then, things have begun to slide for Ince and his assistant Alex Rae, as they haven’t won since late December when they recorded a home victory over Swansea, and they haven’t won on the road since November when they claimed maximum points at Hull.

This has resulted in Reading having the second worst record on the road in the division so far this term, with three wins and ten defeats from 15 this season.

Even though The Royals have slipped to 17th in the table, they’re still only four points behind the Lads and hence, only five from the play-offs - and with a gap of ten points to the drop you would think they would be safe from being dragged into it.

Reading v Huddersfield Town - Sky Bet Championship - Select Car Leasing Stadium
Reading manager Paul Ince with a familiar face alongside him in assistant manager Alex Rae
Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images

The betting...

The bookies fancy a home win this afternoon with odds of 17/20 for the Lads to take maximum points, with Reading priced at 16/5 to take the spoils and the draw is around 12/5.


Head to head... at Sunderland

(All competitions)

  • Sunderland wins: 4
  • Draws: 3
  • Reading wins: 3
  • Sunderland goals: 17
  • Reading goals: 12

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

Saturday 2nd December 2017

Championship

Sunderland 1-3 Reading

[Grabban (pen) 65’ (McManaman sent-off 45’) - Edwards 53’, Barrow 68’, 71’]

Sunderland: Ruiter, Matthews, Brwoning, O’Shea, Oviedo (Galloway), McManaman, Cattermole (Gooch), Gibson, McGeady (Asoro), Honeyman, Grabban Substitutes not used: Steele, Love, Wilson, Maja

Reading: Mannone, Bacuna, Gunter, Van Den Berg, McShane, Moore, Aluko (Beerens), Edwards, Kermorgant (Bodvarsson), Kelly (Clement), Barrow Substitutes not used: Jaakkola, Blackett, Ilori, Popa

Attendance: 27,386

Sunderland v Reading - Sky Bet Championship
Callum McManaman is sent off the last time the two sides met at the Stadium of Light
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Played for both...

Vito Mannone

Mannone arrived at Arsenal as an 17-year-old from Atalanta in 2005 and gained early exposure to first team football with a loan spell at Barnsley as well as the odd chance at Arsenal. Further time was spent out on loan to Hull, and it wasn’t until 2013 that Mannone left Arsenal permanently when he came to Sunderland in 2013.

After four years with the Lads that included that night at Old Trafford, the Italian goalkeeper moved to Reading where he spent three years and after brief moves to Denmark, the MLS and Monaco, Mannone is now with Lorient in France.

Sunderland v Reading - Sky Bet Championship
Vito Mannone in action for Reading on their last visit to the Stadium of Light
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Paul McShane

Paul McShane made the move across from Ireland to start out in the Manchester United youth setup in the early 2000s and after a couple of loan moves to Walsall and Brighton took the plunge to sign permanently with West Brom in 2006.

A year later Roy Keane brought him to the Stadium of Light where he spent three years struggling to hold down a regular spot before moving on to Hull City in 2009. Reading then came calling in 2015 where the no-nonsense defender spent four years before returning to Manchester United to be part of the coaching staff and the overage player in the U23s.

McShane has now hung up his boots and works in youth development at Manchester United.

Sunderland v Manchester United U21 - Papa John’s Trophy
Paul McShane in action for Manchester United U21’s at the Stadium of Light in the EFL Trophy back in October 2021
Photo by Will Matthews/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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