Sunderland (H) 24th November, 15:00


#1

“She’s into superstitions, black cats and voodoo dolls”
(Livin’ la Vida Loca - Ricky Martin)

As you can probably gather from the charmless contemporary lyrics used to introduce this piece, I’ll be doing the match preview this week as my esteemed colleague Welsh is enjoying a break in sunnier climbs…

The Opposition

Sunderland make the first of two consecutive Saturday visits to Walsall this weekend, as the sides meet in a league game for the first time in 14 years.

The Wearsiders arrive at Bescot second in the League One table with a record of P17 W10 D6 L1 and the healthiest goal difference in the division, +19. They will also be boosted by a bumper away following, as we face the ignominy of being out-numbered by visiting supporters for the second home game on the trot.

Unbeaten at home, Sunderland have also been pretty imposing on the road, though their only defeat of the season did come away at the hands of Burton Albion. The Mackem’s recent league form is as follows:

Nov 17th - Wycombe Wanderers (H) - Drew 1-1
Nov 3rd - Plymouth Argyle (A) - Won 2-0
Oct 27th - Southend United (H) - Won 3-0
Oct 23rd - Doncaster Rovers (A) - Won 1-0
Oct 20th - Sloppies (A) - Won 2-0
Oct 6th - Bradford City (A) - Won 2-1

Previous Meetings

The last game between the sides took place in March 2004, a 3-1 win for Sunderland in a Division One game at Bescot. Julio Arca, Kevin Kyle and Marcus Stewart were on target for the visitors and though Neil Emblem’s 53rd minute equaliser offered a glimmer of hope, it was cancelled out within 60 seconds of the re-start.

Sunderland, who featured former-Saddler Darren Byfield, finished third in the league but fell in the play-offs, Walsall were relegated on goal difference.

Our last win against Saturday’s visitors came in February 1989, where a Stuart Rimmer hatrick saw the Saddlers earn the most unlikely of 3-0 victories at Roker Park, ending a 22 game run without a win in all competitions that spanned from a 2-0 defeat of the same opposition in October the previous year.

Familiar Faces

Jimmy Walker started the season at Sunderland as a goalkeeping coach, but has since moved to Ipswich, so there are no current links between the clubs. The most recent player to have represented both clubs, to the best of my knowledge, is Sunderland-born Jordan Cook.

Also worth mentioning is Brazilian forward Marcus di Giuseppe (better remembered as Bica) who was on the books of both clubs during the 1999-2000 season.

The Saddlers

As we enter a tough run of fixtures it’s difficult to predict any unforced personnel changes after the encouraging performance against Fleetwood. It’s worth noting that George Dobson is still just one yellow card away from an automatic ban, especially with difficult games against Portsmouth (League) and Sunderland (FAC) on the very immediate horizon.

Prediction

Feel free to make your own, nail heads. :slight_smile:

  • Walsall Win
  • Draw
  • Sunderland Win

0 voters

UTS


#2

Absolutely no way are we winning this one.

0-3

I’d snap your hand off for a draw.


#3

Tough game obviously. Just hope the boys put in a decent enough performance and you never know.


#4

I think we will win 1-0. I am always wrong so I might as well say a win!


#5

Their defensive record alone suggests it could be a difficult game. I think we’ll get thumped and then win the FA Cup game.


#6

I think the lads will be up for this one, but Sunderland will be to strong for us 0-2 i just hope we give 100%


#7

A very unlikely 2.0 win. Leahy and Devlin to score. This leads to meltdown on another thread where their defensive frailties come under close scrutiny!


#8

3,600 Mackems heading down on Saturday according to their fans forum site.

Let’s hope the kiosks are well stocked!


#9

They are but with moron’s :rofl:


#10

Will be like a home match for them (minus around 25,000 of their usual home gate figure!) Feels a bit like having our noses rubbed in the dirt, as this will probably be at least 3 weeks on the trot where home fans are outnumbered, when it is almost certain the FA Cup match will bring a similar following.
A win for us would be as impossible as that noteable 3-0 away win that we accomplished back in '89! So, you never know!
However, anyone brave enough to vote for a home win in the above predictioncast, are most definitely wearing VERY rose tinted glasses.
Their automatic promotion is a certainty, quite ridiculous that they find themselves in our Division for a year. Regular 30K gates for a team in the 3rd Division is deserving of Premiershite status…it wont be long.
Lets hope they don’t destroy too much of the ground, might distract Bonser from counting his (sorry, Suffolk Life’s money)


#11

Lets send the black cats 3.600 fans back on that long journey home with no points :rofl: just like we did when we knocked Coventry out the cup a couple of weeks ago . When most of our fans missed a really good game . When most people gave us no chance . Home win for me UTS


#12

Apart from, let’s see;
i/ we were away then.
ii/ we were near the bottom of our division , not in the top half
iii/ we aren’t on a double figure losing streak
iv/ we haven’t conceded seven at home the match before

If you get get a bookie to give you the odds on offer in 1989, I’d have their hand off if I were you.


#13

I actually think if the team can defend well they’re capable of getting a point. Not sure why but can see things clicking going forward in this game.

Cook is from Gateshead. Assume he’s a Newcastle fan so game he’ll very much be up for.

Sunderland like a few of the top teams this season seem to do better away than home. Drew 1-1 with Wycombe last week at SOL and also had home draws with Oxford and Fleetwood. Won most of their away games.

I’ll go 2-2. If offered though I’d rather win the cup game.


#14

Is Stuart Rimmer lined up for a half time appearance? The man who silenced the “Roker roar” :soccer::soccer::soccer:


#15

Cook was born in Bishop Auckland and I believe is from Ferryhill, Co. Durham, so no telling who he supports from that (if anyone).


#16

My predictions are also always wrong so, we will definitely lose this one…


#17

My dad was born in Crook, Co. Durham, and supported Newcastle, if that’s any help.

This is also why I support Walsall.

He took me to Walsall v Newcastle in 1961…


#18

Hello Pete, we have a few similarities. My dad also came from Co Durham and took me to FP in 1961 for which was my first season.
What a 2nd division that was with the likes of Leeds, Liverpool as well where a certain Bill Shankly was just starting to put his Red revolution in place.
Memories . . . . . . it never leaves you do it?


#19

I wasn’t going to go to this one and I predicted pretty a heavy defeat, but as the days have gone on I’ve become increasingly optimistic about tomorrow. Just got my tickets and I’m really looking forward to it. As someone said earlier in the thread there’s definitely a Sheffield Wednesday on Boxing Day kind of vibe to it. A similar finish would be welcomed.


#20

0-3, hopefully no worse :unamused: