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Match Preview – Cambridge United vs Sunderland AFC: Johnson’s side look to bounce back after disappointing draw with 10-man Shrewsbury

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Credit: @Cambridgeunited instagram - Cambridge are set for the visit of Sunderland to Abbey Road on Saturday...

Sunderland face a challenging trip to Cambridge on Saturday in search of an instant response following their disappointing 1-1 draw last time out.

The Black Cats have four points from their last two league games but performances left a lot to be desired.

Johnson’s side remain in the play-off places by a point but have fallen five points behind table toppers Rotherham. Having dropped a few places in recent weeks, fans are becoming frustrated as the club have been stuck in League One for three seasons.

The 40-year-old faces a team close to his heart as he grew up on the terraces at Abbey Road but there is little room for sentiment as his side continue to lose ground on the top-two.

Sunderland hunt for much needed win…

The Black Cats will be desperate to win on Saturday and gain some much-needed momentum in their push for promotion.

The visitors have taken just four points from an available 15 in their last five games. The pressure is on Johnson and his team to get all three points at the Abbey Stadium come 3pm.

The home side find themselves 15h in League One with 23 points – winning 4, drawing 8 and losing 6 in their 19 league matches. 

The U’s have picked up 7 points from the last 5 games and come into the game after their well-fought midweek 2-2 draw with Wigan despite finding themselves 2-0 up.

Before that, Cambridge had lost two games on the bounce and shipped 7 goes in the process. However, they are unbeaten in four home league games before this one.

Despite being unbeaten in their last five football league games with Sunderland, the last time these two met was back in January 1993 – the game tomorrow is the first meeting between the two sides in 28 years.

Mark Bonner’s side were promoted from League Two this season and have a decent record given the step up in quality. They’ve had a productive return as their performances have shown they’re capable of competing against anyone in the division.

United will have to put up an impressive display at home on Saturday if they are to get anything from the game with many pundits’ promotion favourites Sunderland.

However, Sunderland have been in woeful form recently and go into the fixture under intense pressure to perform and claim a vital victory. 

Form

SAFC – W L L L W D

Cambridge United – D W W L L D

League One table as it stands…

Team News

Lee Johnson says SAFC face injury ‘challenges’ going into the away trip against Cambridge on Saturday. Johnson has an injury list of 7-8 players for the clash. He’s in desperate need of a win with the pressure growing on his position as manager. 

Aiden McGeady is out for 8-12 weeks with a knee injury as confirmed in the press conference this morning.

Denver Hume remains doubtful.

Luke O’Nien is in discussion with medical staff surrounding his persistent shoulder injury which may keep him out of the trip to Cambridge. Dennis Cirkin remains out for a number of weeks as he undergoes a double hernia operation.

Youngsters Cieran Dunne and Will Harris are amongst the matochday squad as Corry Evans is expected to start after making the bench on Tuesday evening following his calf issue. 

For the home side Shilow Tracey faces a race against time to be fit for the clash against Sunderland – manager Bonner hopes the winger can get through the final training sessions of the week to be avayalbe for selection.

Lloyd Jones is back in training following a period on the sidelines but is expected to be left out of the squad on Saturday as he is still a major doubt. 

Leon Davies is a booking away from suspension.

Potential Line-ups

Sunderland AFC (4-2-3-1)

Hoffman (GK)

O’Nien (LB), Wright (CB), Doyle (CB), Gooch (RB)

Evans (CDM), Winchester (CDM)

Broadhead (LM). Pritchard (CAM), O’Brien (RM)

Stewart (ST)

Cambridge United (4-2-3-1)

Mitov (GK)

Dunk (LB), Iredale (CB), Masterson (CB), Williams (RB)

Digby (CDM), Weir (CDM)

Brophy (LM), May (CAM), Smith (RM)

Ironside (St)

Pre-match thoughts? Can Sunderland get back to winning ways? Is Johnson the man to take the Black Cats to promotion?

Join in the conversation and have your say…

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Newcastle target rejects Everton move following £45m bid.

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Newcastle united - St James Park

Everton have made a £40million bid with £5m in add-ons to sign Connor Gallagher from Chelsea.

This comes after Newcastle completed the signing of Anthony Gordon, the club’s second most expensive transfer behind Alexander Isak.

Everton received an initial fee of £40m plus add-ons that could increase the deal to £45m.

The Toffees currently sit 19th in the Premier League and are looking to reinvest the money from the Gordon deal to sign much-needed players under newly appointed manager Sean Dyche. 

But, multiple sources have reported today that Gallagher is not actively pushing for a move and has no intention of going to Goodison Park. However, with Chelsea having met the record-breaking €120m release clause for World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez, Gallagher may be forced to leave the club if the transfer is complete.

This leaves Newcastle an option as the player would prefer a move to a top-six club.

This morning, Eddie Howe said, “We’ll see what we can do to try & bring a player in. There’s no guarantees. In terms of permanent signings, it will be very difficult. We’ll look at a potential loan. But it’s got to be the right player & not one for the sake of it”.

Due to financial fair play, the only way Newcastle could sign the player is through a loan, with an obligation to buy the player for at least £45m, the same price they paid for Anthony Gordon.

Gallagher has been playing regular Premier League football over the last two seasons. Since returning to his parent club Chelsea, the 22-year-old has been linked with a move away to numerous Premier League clubs.

Last season he was named Crystal Palace’s Player of the Season by their fans. He also won the Player of the Month award twice, Goal of the Month once, and was awarded the Young Player of Year at the 2022 London Football Awards.

In the same season, he made 36 appearances scoring eight goals and registering three assists that earned Palace a 12th-place finish, one point behind Newcastle.

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Transfer News: Newcastle Sign Everton Winger Anthony Gordon In 45m Deal

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Newcastle agree deal for Gordon

Newcastle United have agreed to sign Everton winger Anthony Gordon for an initial fee of £40,000,000, which could rise to £45,000,000 with add-ons

Sky Sports understands that personal terms between Newcastle United and Gordan’s representatives are still ongoing, but both parties are confident of reaching an agreement.

The Magpies’ were interested in bringing Gordon to St James’ Park in the summer. However, both clubs were far apart on valuations for the player.

The 21-year-old has failed to attend training at Finch Farm for the last three days after making it clear he wants to move away from Goodison Park.

Chelsea were interested in bringing Gordon to Stamford Bridge in the summer and were willing to pay up to £60,000,000 for the wide-man’s services. However, Everton were reluctant to let their talisman leave before the start of the 2022/2023 Premier League season.

Gordon has scored just 3 goals in 16 Premier League appearances (12 starts) this season for the struggling Toffees, who currently sit second bottom of the table.

That said, the former Preston North End loanee had his best campaign last season, playing a major part in Everton’s Premier League survival.

The Everton academy graduate had 6 goal involvements in 35 Premier League games (25 starts) last season, which was the first season he had a consistent run of games.

It’s clear that Gordon has a significant amount of potential, and with Eddie Howe at the helm, Newcastle could be getting a very exciting player.

We have seen an unbelievable transformation in many players’ performances since Eddie Howe took charge in November 2021, with the most obvious transformation being Joelinton’s positional change.

The Liverpool-born winger can play in several forward positions, which is the type of player Eddie Howe has been keen to add during the January window, especially after Chris Wood’s loan departure to Nottingham Forest.

Joelinton is currently being deployed as a left-winger, with Allan Saint-Maximin in the process of regaining match fitness.

The addition of Gordon could see Joelinton be moved back to his preferred position as a box-to-box midfielder. This would see one of Sean Longstaff or Joe Willock drop out of the eleven, with Bruno Guimarães making that number 6 role untouchable.

Four days remain of the January transfer window, and it is yet to be seen if Anthony Gordon is the only player The Toon are adding to their ranks.

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What do you make of the signing of Anthony Gordon?

Who’s place in the squad will he take?

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Gary Lineker shocked as ‘adult noices played on BBC Live on air!

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Gary Lineker - BBC one Live
Credit: BBC

Viewers on Tuesday night prior to the FA cup football games were left shocked and confused as noises of an adult nature were played in the BBC studio – Live on air!

 

Gary Lineker reacted fast to try to address and cover up the noise before going live to Alan Shearer.

 

See the clip below…

 

 

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