Sunderland (A) 16th Mar, 3pm


#1

"Newcastle had one of the world’s first Department Stores, which attracted people from Sunderland who bought luxuries … like soap"

(Gag from “I’m sorry I haven’t a clue” - chairman Rob Bryden)

It was all going so well (apparently), we had taken 7 points from 3 games and then went on to present gift-wrapped goals against Portsmouth - such is the roller-coaster experience of supporting The Saddlers. And now we visit the Black Cats, a club with more reason than most to push us further into deep doo-doos, because in 3 meetings so far this season they have yet to get the better of us. As far as League One matches are concerned, Sunderland are unbeaten at The Stadium of Light and, more worryingly, they have scored in every single League One game (home and away) bar one so it looks as though we are going to have to put the ball into their net to have any chance of coming away with anything to relieve our relegation pressure. Oh, and they’ve signed Will Grigg to rub salt into the wound … Current form:-

15 Feb Accrington Stanley (H) Drew 2-2
19 Feb Gillingham (H) Won 4-2
23 Feb Bristol Rovers (A) Won 0-2
2 Mar Plymouth Argyle (H) Won 2-0
9 Mar Wycombe Wanderers (A) Drew 1-1
12 Mar Barnsley (A) Drew 0-0

The Wycombe Wanderers game ended with something of a free-for-all, with 3 red cards being brandished - among them the Sunderland captain George Honeyman.

Dean Keates will have the option of recalling Andy Cook to the playing strength, and it can be safely assumed that the Cookie Monster will be raring to go bearing in mind the nature of the opposition (Cook is a known Newcastle United supporter, and took great delight in scoring against Sunderland for us back in December). It does make sense to feature Cook, who is still our leading scorer, but the hope has to be that the service to him consists of more than just a hopeful “hoof” upfield …

Prediction? Despite the 2-3 result against Portsmouth it would appear that we were at least equal to them, and the result could have been so different were it not for our generosity. As we do seem to have something of the Indian Sign over them, and bearing in mind they have the EFL Trophy final against Portsmouth in a couple of weeks let’s hope for a 1-1 draw, Andy Cook with a late equaliser cancelling out Will Grigg’s opener after 3 minutes!

UTS


#2

Head says defeat. Heart says 2-2, McGeady and Grigg for them, Blackett-Taylor thunderbolt and Scarr header from 86th minute corner for us.

Att 38,462


#3

Just checked the date - it will be 30 years, 1 month and 5 days since the famous Stuart Rimmer hat-trick at Roker Park after 15 straight defeats.

What a day that was. Jeez i now feel old.


#4

Think this will be closer than a few are probably thinking.

Sunderland have drawn a lot at home this season, against Oxford, Fleetwood, Wycombe, Blackpool, Shrewsbury and Accrington. Most of those were 1-1s. They only won by one goal margin v Bristol Rovers, Bradford and Wimbledon.

Would be disappointed if this is a loss by three or four goals especially as GD is getting crucial now. Problem is the way back 4 defended last night, hope it’s not back to the Sunday league ways of a month ago.

Key is to get tight and mark McGeady well. If he’s not in the game they haven’t got much creativity elsewhere, likes of Chris Maguire and Duncan Watmore are injured, Honeyman suspended.

Think this will be a narrow 2-1 loss with Grigg inevitably being the difference. Best result will just be staying out of bottom 4 by 5pm as Oxford at home to Bradford and Sloppies home to Wycombe are very winnable games for them.


#5

An unfortunate loss for me, not due to any lack of tactical nous or lack of effort, I think we will battle but we will switch off at the back just long enough for them to score 3 simple goals from individual mistakes.


#6

7-0 Walsall. Celebrating fans all full of beer have to detour to the Angel of the North to urinate on it and the corrosive ■■■■ collapses it. Realisation floods in: all we need for a new stadium is to ■■■■ more in the old one. Gods know Bonser’s ■■■■■■ on us enough!


#7

Agree mcgeady is there biggest source of creativity need to double up on him . So maybe bring in Norman in for this one instead of Ismail and play devlin right mid . Move Edwards to left mid . Cook and Gordon up top in a 4-4-2 for me.


#8

In three games against them I was never really that impressed with what I saw. Yes they were down to ten men for one of those games. I can certainly see us getting a draw if we apply ourselves defensively. There’s no questioning the commitment in this side but they have to be more intelligent. And Cook has to play. There will be hoofed clearances whether the fans want that or not in this game and we will need somebody to win that ball to remove pressure. Never mind the fact that we might get one or two chances and there’s only one man in the entire squad you’d want a one off chance to fall to.

Saying that they haven’t lost at home in the league all season. As long as we are not bottom four on Saturday evening I’ll take it.


#9

On Cook, do you not think that Gordon’s more diminutive mobility has occupied defences more than Cook’s statuesque bulk?

I would have Cookie on the bench with my only two changes being on both wings if Jarvis is fit.


#10

No. Not over the course of the season. It’s incredibly unfair to call him statuesque for a start. Nobody is going to mistake him for a Ferrari any time soon but the guy puts in an absolute shift. Gordon impressed against Bradford and has been ok since. Not ok enough to suggest he worries defences more than Cook mind.

Besides Gordon would still play for me, Ferrier drops for Cook.


#11

Yes,but to draw 1-1 you can’t give them a 2 or 3 goal start like we normally do.


#12

Unbeaten in league at home and scored every home league game watch out Sunderland your bogy team are coming 1-0 to the saddlers and a happy journey home.


#13

Sunderland have had six 1-1 draws at home this season, against quite modest opponents. However, they seem to have got their act together recently, so I suspect we’ll lose 2 or 3-1.


#14

3-1 unfortunately


#15

2-1 to them :frowning_face: Grigg to score both after being ■■■■■ for them so far


#16

We will thrash them with a goal differential of 7


#17

We beat them earlier on in the season and just looked at their fans forum and they are not over confident… so let’s go and beat them and if we do I really think that that would give the team so much confidence that a relegation battle would just be a distant memory.


#18

Start Cookie and hopefully have Jarvis fit and starting too. Defence need to be on it tomorrow or we lose comfortably. Gonna go for a narrow 2-1 defeat. We’ll be 2 down at HT through two basic errors, Cook to get one back with ten minutes to go.


#19

Simon , can we start random drug testing on the site ? …:rofl:


#20

This from the Sunderland messageboard:

“Could be tricky, Nicky Devlin is a good player for them at right back, can see him causing a few problems for McGeady”