Monday 8th May, 2023
(11th) Preston North End v Sunderland (7th)
Stadium of Light
Tickets & Match Coverage
Tickets: Tickets are sold out.
TV/Stream: Full live match coverage is available via Sky Sports.
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!
Well, it’s had its dramas, and it has had plenty of ups and downs, but it all comes down to one game to decide whether or not we extend our season.
The scenario is that we have to win and hope that a combination of results from the Riverside and The Den go our way - but the bottom line is that we must take all three points.
If we could have chosen ourselves, we’d have selected to play away from to try and collect an important three points, as only Burnley, Luton Town and Sheffield United (incidentally the top three in the table) boast better records on the road.
We’re also unbeaten in our last eight which suggests we’ll be difficult to beat, but in terms of claiming maximum points, five of those eight have resulted in draws. Focusing once again on form on our travels, our last four away fixtures have resulted in three wins and a draw and last time out, our performance at West Brom was up there with one of the best of the season.
This season has been a joy in many respects, so here’s hoping that we have at least two more games to look forward to.
Ryan Lowe’s Preston are in the process of placing their beach towel in the optimum spot for improving their tan over the summer. In a season that promised to get interesting at times has fallen away to end up in mid-table mediocrity, where they have finished for six out of the last seven seasons in the Championship after returning from League One.
It’s been a similar season to us in terms of the home and away split, as they boast the next best away record behind ourselves in the division on the road - having taken a point less - and at home, they have taken two points fewer with this one game remaining.
To confuse matters, this form book seems to have flipped over recent weeks and we now have to look back to the 4th of February for their last defeat at home, although they still struggle to find the net at Deepdale with only 20 goals scored in the 22 games played before today.
A side with nothing to play for are unpredictable, but on their home patch, you wouldn’t be surprised if Preston were up for the fight to stop a hefty away contingent celebrating on their final home fixture. Let’s hope they do the decent thing and let us have three point that they don’t really need.
The bookies fancy the Lads to do the business and claim all three points this afternoon with odds of 10/11, with a home win priced at 3/1 and the draw is around 5/2.
Head to head... at Deepdale
- Sunderland wins: 16
- Draws: 17
- Preston North End wins: 28
- Sunderland goals: 86
- Preston North End goals: 115
Last time we met... at Deepdale
Saturday 30th September, 2017
Preston North End 2-2 Sunderland
[Honeyman 28’, McGeady 59’ - Harrop 55’, Hugill 57’]
Sunderland: Steele, Matthews, Browning, O’Shea, Jones (Oviedo), Honeyman (Williams), Cattermole, Ndong, McGeady, Gooch (Watmore), Vaughan Substitutes not used: Ruiter, Kone, Gibson, McManaman
Preston North End: Maxwell, Fisher, Earl, Johnson, Huntington, Davies, Barkuizen (Horgan), Browne, Hugill (Mavididi), Harrop, Maguire (Robinson) Substitutes not used: Hudson, Vermijl, Woods, Spurr
Played for both...
Kevin Kilbane started out at Preston North End in the mid-1990s and joined West Brom in 1997 where he played under former Sunderland manager Denis Smith. Two years later Peter Reid snapped up the Republic of Ireland international for £2.5 million.
Kilbane’s four years on Wearside could be described as mixed, but a move to Everton put him back under the stewardship of David Moyes as he was at Preston, and Kilbane flourished at Goodison.
Three years on Merseyside was followed by three years at Wigan Athletic and three more at Hull City before he hung up his boots after a brief spell at Coventry City in 2012.
Wallace moved south from Celtic in a deal that also included the return of Stanislav Varga for a combined fee of around £1.1 million in August 2006.
The then 21-year-old helped Sunderland to promotion to the Premier League in his first season at the club and stayed on Wearside until 2009 after making 55 appearances and scoring 8 goals.
After spells with Preston North End, Burnley, Sheffield Wednesday, Fleetwood Town and St Mirren, Wallace hung up his boots in 2020 to begin a career in coaching.