Wednesday 20th September 2023
(10th) Blackburn Rovers v Sunderland (8th)
Tickets & Match Coverage
Tickets: Tickets are available at www.safc.com.
TV/Stream: Full live match coverage is available via Sky Sports (via the red button) and www.safc.com.
Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Radio Newcastle (not online)
Just over five weeks ago, it was all doom and gloom after losing the first two in the league and being dumped out of the League Cup. Three wins and a draw later - the feel-good factor is back.
With ten goals scored and only two conceded in that four game unbeaten run, things are now looking promising at both ends of the pitch.
Last time out, we had our old pal Jack Colback to thank for making the task that little bit easier after he tried to snap Jobe Bellingham like a smart price ginger biscuit, but on the whole QPR were poor and it’s a different proposition ahead tonight at Tony Mowbray’s old stomping ground.
Last season’s visit was one of those games that was decided by the officiating rather than the football on the pitch. Nailed on penalty appeals at one end were ignored, as was offsides at the other - resulting in a defeat on an evening where the Lads' performance deserved more.
In general, we haven’t had the best of records at Blackburn - we have to go back to 2008 for our last win there when Roy Keane got the better of Paul Ince - his side coming back from behind with goals from Kenwyne Jones and Djibril Cisse to claim all three points in the Premier League.
The previous victory before that game during the current century came in 2001, when Reidy’s boys got the better of Graeme Souness’ side, but in the last century our last win was way back in 1975 courtesy of a Tony Towers goal - the point being that wins at Ewood don’t come along too often.
With the two sides sitting on the same points just outside of the play-offs, it’s the sort of game that could prove to be significant come the end of the season.
Considering everything that has happened at both clubs in the last year or so, it’s amazing to think that it was only back in the summer of last year when Blackburn parted company with Tony Mowbray as manager having just finished 8th in the Championship - which was their highest league position for eight years when they finished in the same position back in 2013-14.
They brought in Jon Dahl Tomasson and finished one place higher, while at the same time watched on as Mowbray led the Lads to a play-off position on an incredible final day of the season.
Their close shave with the top six last season was influenced by striker Ben Brereton Diaz, but with the 24-year-old moving to Villarreal on a free transfer in the summer, Tomasson has had to rebuild.
In their three games on home soil in the Championship so far they got off to a flying start against West Bromwich Albion on the opening weekend with a 2-1 win, but then went down to Hull City at Ewood Park to the same scoreline a fortnight later.
The third fixture was just days ago at the weekend in the club's 5,000th game, when they beat Middlesbrough 2-1 - which isn’t as big a scalp as it was just 4-5 months ago.
Rovers have not been in the Premier League since the 2011-12 season, and after finishing just outside the play-offs in the previous two seasons, they will be aiming to go one better this time around.
Blackburn Rovers home form...
Sunderland away form...
The bookies fancy a home win tonight with odds of 5/4, while a Sunderland victory is priced at around 2/1 and a draw is 12/5.
Head to head... at Ewood Park
- Sunderland wins: 17
- Draws: 20
- Blackburn Rovers wins: 37
- Sunderland goals: 88
- Blackburn Rovers goals: 137
Last time we met... at Ewood Park
Tuesday 18th October 2022
Blackburn Rovers 2-0 Sunderland
[Diaz 32’, S. Wharton 49’]
Sunderland: Patterson, O’Nien, Batth, Alese (Hume), Cirkin, Evans (Michut), Neil (Diallo), Clarke, Pritchard (Bennette), Embleton (Ba) Substitutes not used: Bass, Wright
Blackburn Rovers: Kaminski, Hedges, Brittain, Carter, Hyam, S. Wharton Garrett, Szmodics (Dolan), Gallagher (Vale), Diaz, Morton Substitutes not used: Pears, Phillips, Mola, Buckley, A. Wharton
Played for both...
After signing for Bolton Wanderers as a 20-year-old from non-League Marine for £500 and a bag of balls in 1992, McAteer was something of a bargain considering he joined Liverpool for £4.5 million three years later.
In 1999, McAteer joined Brian Kidd’s Blackburn Rovers in a deal worth around £4m and a year later, a fee of £1m was paid by Peter Reid to bring him to Sunderland. He would make 61 appearances and scored 5 goals, before he was eventually released in 2004.