Sunday 24th September 2023
(4th) Sunderland v Cardiff City (10th)
Stadium of Light
Tickets & Match Coverage
Tickets: Tickets are available at 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)
The Lads return to the Stadium of Light this afternoon on the back of two wins on the road in quick succession, which in turn followed an impressive 5-0 home win over Southampton. Those three results are part of an unbeaten run that now stretches to five games and today presents an opportunity on home soil to extend it further.
Sunderland have already won back-to-back home games - something they didn’t manage throughout the whole of last season and if they claim maximum points today, we will already be almost halfway to the number of home league victories we recorded last season that totaled 7.
Having battled through the pressure in midweek at Ewood Park, the Lads seem to have a bit more steel this season, and games such as today’s can be looked at as benchmarks to visibly see progress.
Last season’s visit to Cardiff City was a prime example of one of those days where we struggled to break a side down as happened on so many occasions last term. After getting dragged down to play the visitors game, it resulted in a 1-0 for Cardiff.
Looking at the stats, over 2.5 goals have been scored in six of Sunderland’s games this year and 9 in the last 10 games in the Championship for Cardiff - so I’m tempted with the 10/1 on offer for a goalless draw.
Our last win at home against the Bluebirds came back in 2014 via a 4-0 win with a brace for Connor Wickham, a Fabio Borini penalty and a strike from Emanuele Giaccherini sealing the points. And looking ahead to an away fixture at Sheffield Wednesday to round off September and then two home games to begin October, things could be shaping up nicely if we continue on this unbeaten run.
Since Neil Warnock left just months after relegation from the Premier League in November 2019, it’s been a steady decline for the Welsh side, with five managers having a crack at it since.
The sixth was a choice from left field, Erol Bulut, who arrived in the summer from Gaziantep where the German had managed Fenerbahçe, also in Turkey before that. Bulut arrived following an odd spell with Sabri Lamouchi in charge after the Frenchman replaced Mark Hudson in January.
The revolving door in the manager’s office hasn’t helped matters and the league finishes of 18th and 21st in the previous two seasons in the Championship tell their own story, but the new manager has got off to a solid start.
Currently sitting 10th in the table, just three behind the Lads, Cardiff have so far relied on their home form to provide the majority of their points with 9 out of the 10 being collected on home soil.
In their last fixture on the road they surrendered a two-goal lead at Portman Road to eventually lose 3-2 to Ipswich Town and before that was a 2-1 defeat at Leicester City and an opening weekend entertaining 2-2 at Leeds United - so the fixture list wasn’t kind when dishing out their first handful of away trips.
It’s possible they want to put a few things right after their recent trip to Suffolk however, and after an impressive midweek home win against Coventry City, Buluot’s side will be aiming to build some momentum to their season this afternoon.
Sunderland home form...
Cardiff City away form...
The bookies fancy a home win this afternoon with odds of 5/6, while a Cardiff victory is priced at around 16/5 and a draw is 5/2.
Head to head... at Sunderland
- Sunderland wins: 13
- Draws: 11
- Cardiff City wins: 10
- Sunderland goals: 51
- Cardiff City goals: 45
Last time we met... at the Stadium of Light
Saturday 5th November 2022
Sunderland 0-1 Cardiff City
Sunderland: Patterson, O’Nien, Batth, Wright, Cirkin, Ba (Evans), Neil (Pritchard), Roberts (Bennette), Diallo, Clarke, Simms (Embleton) Substitutes not used: Bass, Hume, Matete
Cardiff City: Allsop, Romeo, Nkounkou, Wintle, Ng, Kipre, Philogene-Bidace (Sawyers), Ralls, Harris (Watters), Ojo (Nelson), O’Dowda (Rinomhota) Substitutes not used: Alnwick, Sang
Played for both...
While impressing Sir Alex Ferguson coming through the ranks at Manchester United, Richardson had a loan spell at West Bromwich Albion under former United legend Bryan Robson.
It was at the Hawthorns where his profile increased and he made his England debut in 2005. In the summer of 2007 Roy Keane paid over £5m to bring him to the Stadium of Light and he would go on to make 149 appearances and score 15 goals in five years at the club.
In 2012, Richardson moved on to Fulham and after spending two years at Craven Cottage, spent another two at Aston Villa had a brief spell at Cardiff City before hanging up his boots in 2017.