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.
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.