Millwall (A) 4.2.23
A sold-out Den will play host to a massive game in the race for the playoffs. The Lions currently sit 8th in the Championship, one point above Sunderland with a game in hand. Saturday will prove a massive opportunity for Joe Gelhardt, who remains Sunderland’s only out-and-out striker!
One to Watch: Jake Cooper
Millwall are a threat from set-pieces and Sunderland are a very small team, even smaller now due to the injury of Ross Stewart, and struggle to defend crosses. Millwall will see this as an area they can exploit.
Not only offensively but Cooper is also a stalwart in Millwall’s defence. He will want to get one over on the Black Cats, who, of course, put three past the London club in December.
Fulham (H) 8.2.23
The lads defended so well to earn a replay against a team flying high in the Premier League, and arguably could (and maybe should) have won the game. A performance of similar quality will be needed to win a fourth-round tie against Leeds.
One to Watch: Manor Solomon
The Israeli played his first full 90 minutes for Fulham against the Lads last weekend and caused problems down the Cottager’s left-hand side all game. He came close to scoring on numerous occasions and should have had an assist when his cross was volleyed into Dan Ballard, on the line, by Andreas Pereira. The defence will have to be aware again on Wednesday when they face the tricky winger again.
Reading (H) 11.2.23
Reading started the season off relatively well but, as many predicted, have fallen into the lower reaches of mid-table. The Royals fought well in the FA Cup against Manchester United but were let down by Andy Carroll’s moment of madness.
One to Watch: Tom Ince
I wrote earlier in the season that “Reading don’t score many, but when they do you just know Tom Ince will have been involved in some capacity. Ince may not be as quick as he once was but his left foot still has the capabilities it always has.” This remains to be true and Ince has been so important to the Royals this season – which would explain his links to three Premier League clubs on Deadline Day.
QPR (A) 14.2.23
On Valentine’s Day, Sunderland will hope to upset a few people’s nights! It is the return fixture of the game which saw goalkeeper Seny Dieng score a last-minute equaliser to deny Sunderland their first home win of the season in August. QPR are in a bit of a slump since the departure of Michael Beale to Rangers, and at the time of writing, are winless since December 17th!
One to Watch: Jamal Lowe
The ex-Pompey man loved his games against Sunderland in League One and will want to put together a run of goals to reignite QPR’s playoff push again after a disappointing start to the new year. He scored on his home debut against Swansea, so will be keen to carry on in the same vein in front of the Loftus Road faithful.