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Sunderland’s January Preview: League and cup action for the Lads

2024 kicks off with a busy month of football, with some eye-catching games at home and away. Kyle Garrett takes a look at what the Lads can expect in January

Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

01/01/24: Preston North End (H)

A nice early start on New Year’s Day as Ryan Lowe’s team visit the Stadium of Light.

Preston started the season strongly but have stuttered of late and like every team across the country, they’ll be looking to start 2024 in the right way.

Player to watch: Liam Millar

The Canadian winger, on loan from Swiss side Basel, has enjoyed his most successful campaign to date and is helping the Lilywhites push for the playoffs once again.

Millar tore Leeds United to shreds on Boxing Day and has been involved in five goals in his last five games.

Preston North End v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Dave Howarth - CameraSport via Getty Images

06/01/24: Newcastle United (H)- FA Cup third round

On Saturday, we kick off our FA Cup campaign with a first Tyne-Wear derby since 2016 and a chance to upset the ‘richest club in the world’.

It’ll be the biggest challenge of our young squad’s career to date and the Lads will have to be on their A-game to defy the odds.

Player to watch: Alexander Isak

The Magpies’ €70 million man is enjoying his football on Tyneside and has quickly become a fan favourite at St James’ Park.

The Swede has everything a striker needs and despite not being able to help Newcastle qualify for the Champions League knockout stages or the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup, he’s a handful.

Newcastle United v Nottingham Forest - Premier League Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

13/01/24: Ipswich Town (A)

Ipswich have carried their form from League One into the first half of the Championship season, playing some magnificent football along the way.

They tend to concede a few goals but they make up for it by scoring for fun at the other end. A big game at Portman Road, and a very tough one too.

Player to watch: Nathan Broadhead

You might think it’s a cop-out answer because he’s a former Sunderland player, but Broadhead is quality and everything we’ve been missing this season.

He’s racked up goals and assists in abundance and seems to have overcome his injury problems, too.

Albeit via a lucky goal, the Welshman scored in the reverse fixture on the Championship’s opening weekend and has been a livewire all season.

Sunderland v Ipswich Town - Sky Bet Championship - Stadium of Light Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

19/01/24 : Hull City (H)

By the time Liam Rosenior’s team travel to Wearside, it’ll have been less than a month since we ran out 0-1 winners against at the MKM Stadium, and the Tigers will be out for revenge.

Both sides lacked cutting edge in East Yorkshire on Boxing Day, before a moment of quality from Jack Clarke won it.

Player to watch: Liam Delap

Delap was Hull’s brightest spark last time out and is having a really positive season.

He was strangely deployed at wing back on Boxing Day but got forward a lot throughout the match, causing issues for our back four.

Birmingham City v Hull City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

27/01/24: Stoke City (H)

Both sides have made a managerial change since the Potters ran out 2-1 winners at the bet365 Stadium in October.

Stoke are enduring a terrible season and will have had Steven Schumacher at the wheel for a month by the time the teams clash at the Stadium of Light.

At the time of writing, the Potters have played three games under their new boss, winning one and drawing two.

Player to watch: Wouter Berger

The big midfielder has been one of Stoke’s best players this season, although there hasn’t been much competition!

The Dutchman was a handful in the reverse fixture in October and has chipped in with the odd goal this term.

Stoke City v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

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