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26 September 2017 Venue Portman Road Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews


26 September 2017

All you need to know ahead of the visit of the Black Cats

Current standings: Town dropped to seventh following defeat to Leeds at the weekend, but could rise to a play-off spot with victory over the Black Cats. Sunderland sit 22nd with just one win this season.

League form:

Town – W L L W L

Points from last five: 6/15

Mick McCarthy’s side will be optimistic of a promotion push following an encouraging start to the season. The Blues have won five of their first eight games and are only denied a play-off spot through goal difference.

Brentford (H) W 2-0

Fulham (H) L 2-0

QPR (A) L 2-1

Bolton (H) W 2-0

Leeds (A) L 3-2

Sunderland – L L L D L

Points from last five: 1/15

Sunderland have dropped into the relegation zone with just one point from their last five. Simon Grayson’s men haven’t won since the second week of the season, when they secured a 3-1 victory over Norwich at Carrow Road.

Barnsley (A) L 3-0

Sheffield United (H) L 1-2

Nottingham Forest (H) L 1-0

Hull (A) D 1-1

Cardiff (H) L 2-1

Previous meetings at Portman Road:

Town 3-1 Sunderland 23.09.06

Town 2-2 Sunderland 17.04.05

Town 1-0 Sunderland 12.04.04

Town 1-2 Sunderland 24.01.04 (FA Cup)

Town 5-0 Sunderland 29.12.01

Last time we met: Sunderland 1-0 Town 13.01.07

David Connolly scored the only goal of the game as Roy Keane’s men saw off Jim Magilton’s Ipswich. Anthony Stokes made his debut for the Black Cats and provided the assist for Connolly’s strike in the 13th minute. Town fought back as Richard Naylor headed wide before Sylvain Legwinski and Danny Haynes forced Darren Ward into action but were unable to find an equaliser.

One to watch: Lynden Gooch.

The American has been directly involved in three goals so far this season and has an impressive shot accuracy with five from five on target this campaign. Gooch has been more involved since the injury to striker Lewis Grabban, and is a glimmer of hope for the Black Cats after a poor run of form. 

Could be the difference: Town’s impressive defensive record at Portman Road. The Blues have played four games at home this season and kept clean sheets in three of those. McCarthy will expect more resolute defensive displays as he aims to turn Portman Road into a fortress this campaign.

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Match Reports


26 September 2017

Blues back in the top six after goals galore at Portman Road

Town turned on the style to sweep past pre-season promotion favourites Sunderland in a thrilling encounter at Portman Road.

Martyn Waghorn gave Blues an early lead but the Black Cats were level inside 10 minutes thanks to Billy Jones’ header in a sign of what was to come.

Jordan Spence headed his second goal in Town colours to put Blues back in front at the break and then Mick McCarthy’s side notched up the quality again with a sublime touch from Waghorn setting up Bersant Celina for his first goal on home soil.

David McGoldrick grabbed his sixth goal of the season, forcing the ball in from Waghorn’s cross to put Town in total command but Aiden McGeady gave the visitors a lifeline midway through the half.

More magic from the mercurial McGoldrick wrapped up the points though late on, the Republic of Ireland striker weaving past three challenges before sending Grant Ward in on goal and he finished superbly.

Celina came in for his first League start for Town in one of two changes to the side that played so well at Leeds without reward, Waghorn the other with Tristan Nydam and Ward making way.

Former Sunderland striker Waghorn took only six minutes to make his mark, heading in superbly from an equally excellent cross from Joe Garner. 

Sunderland were level though three minutes later, another superb delivery - this time from
McGeady’s corner and Jones met it with a firm header at the near post.

Lee Cattermole was wide from the edge of the box, Waghorn much closer with a left foot snap shot held by Jason Steele in a bright start to the game.

Luke Chambers had a header cleared off the line, then Celina whipped in a terrific cross that Steele was at full stretch to punch clear.

Waghorn was inches wide of a second for Town after Blues had carved open the Black Cats’ defence, the striker getting on the end of Jonas Knudsen’s pull-back but the ball screwed past the far post.

James Vaughan was high and wide from the edge of the box as chances continued to come and on 27 minutes Town were ahead again, Waghorn’s corner buried by Spence’s bullet header.

Callum McManaman had a glimpse of goal as Sunderland looked for an immediate response, his shot deflected wide, Garner almost found Tom Adeyemi with a cross, the midfielder then seeing a header from Celina’s cross saved by Steele.

Waghorn spun away from his marker and sent a curler just wide, Bart Bialkowski saving with his feet from McManaman, then more comfortably from the former Wigan player from distance.

Chambers held up Vaughan after the Black Cats broke, while at the other end Celina’s shot squirmed away from Steele and Jones had to hack clear off the line as Town finished the half on top.

Bialkowski produced a terrific save from Cattermole’s close range header as the second-half got underway, Garner a foot wide with a right foot strike moments later with Sunderland then forced into a change with the injured Marc Wilson replaced by John O’Shea.

The Blue Army were on their feet on 55 minutes and rightly so, a flowing move culminated in an outrageous flick by Waghorn into Celina’s path and he made no mistake with a left foot finish.

Town were in dreamland on the hour, Waghorn the provider again, McGoldrick the finisher at the second attempt to put clear daylight between the teams and raise the decibel level at Portman Road.

Sunderland reduced the arrears six minutes later and again in spectacular style, McGeady finding the top corner from 20 yards.

Town made a double change 15 minutes from time with Nydam and Ward replacing Celina and Waghorn. McGeady went close with a free-kick, Knudsen clearing from Cattermole as the Sunderland skipper got in on goal and the Black Cats pressed until the end but two minutes from time Ward grabbed his first goal of the season after great work by McGoldrick to send Blues back into the top six in style.  

Town: Bialkowski, Iorfa, Spence, Chambers, Knudsen, Waghorn (Ward 74), Skuse, Adeyemi, Celina (Nydam 74), McGoldrick (Sears 90), Garner. Subs not used: Crowe, Connolly, Bru, Kenlock. Booked: Nydam.

Sunderland: Steele, Jones, Oviedo (Gooch 57), Cattermole, Vaughan, McManaman (Honeyman 66), McGeady, Matthews, Kone, Gibson, Wilson (O’Shea 50). Subs not used: Ruiter, N’Dong, Browning, Asoro. Booked: Vaughan, McGeady.

Att: 14,907






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