Match Preview – Cambridge United vs Sunderland AFC: Johnson’s side look to bounce back after disappointing draw with 10-man Shrewsbury
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.
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.
SAFC – W L L L W D
Cambridge United – D W W L L D
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.
Sunderland AFC (4-2-3-1)
O’Nien (LB), Wright (CB), Doyle (CB), Gooch (RB)
Evans (CDM), Winchester (CDM)
Broadhead (LM). Pritchard (CAM), O’Brien (RM)
Cambridge United (4-2-3-1)
Dunk (LB), Iredale (CB), Masterson (CB), Williams (RB)
Digby (CDM), Weir (CDM)
Brophy (LM), May (CAM), Smith (RM)
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…
Beth Mead left out of England Women’s World Cup squad
Euro 2022 top goal scorer Beth Mead is not included in England Women’s World Cup squad.
The 27-year-old Arsenal forward has not played since November having been a major doubt for the competition.
This comes after an anterior cruciate ligament injury which she still has not fully recovered from.
England head coach Sarina Wiegman has named the 23-player squad for this summer’s tournament in Australia and New Zealand.
Tottenham striker Beth England, who has not been involved since last summer’s Euro competition is included.
Chelsea centre-back Millie Bright, who has been out with a knee injury since March, has made the 23-player squad.
Sarina Wiegman confirmed Bright would captain the team in the absence of injured defender Leah Williamson.
Wiegman went on to say she never thought Beth Mead would be fit in time for the tournament, saying: “She’s so positive and going well, but the timescale she had we would have taken so many risks to get to the World Cup
“I’m not willing to take that risk to push her too much and she gets injured again. We need to take care of players.”
England play Haiti in their opening match on 22nd July in Australia where they look to build on their success following Euro 2022.
Karl Darlow set for permanent move away from Newcastle United
After a successful loan spell to Hull City, Karl Darlow is poised for a permanent move away from St. James’.
Hull City manager Liam Rosenior has made it clear he wants to keep a hold of Newcastle United goalkeeper Karl Darlow.
Signing for the club in 2014 from Nottingham Forest, he went onto make 100 appearances for the magpies with his debut coming in 2015 under Steve McLaren. His best stint for the club was during the 2020/21 season making 25 appearances. He then saw himself fall out of favour when Martin Dubravka signed for the club and now with Nick Pope cementing the position as his own, Darlow saw himself drop down the pecking order.
Signing for Hull City on loan in January, he has since made 11 appearances keeping 5 clean sheets in the process, with three coming in the last four matches against good opposition in Millwall, Blackburn, and Watford.
“He’s been magnificent since he’s come in,” Rosenior said after Darlow’s clean sheet against Watford on Saturday. “I think he’s massively enjoying working here, I think he’s enjoying the club, he’s settled in with the players really really well.
“What I really like about Karl was as soon as he signed he had his young family come and join him and settle down in the area, and I think that’s helped him. Hopefully we’ll have discussions in the summer about his long-term future.”
Rosenior revealed earlier in the week his intention to keep Darlow at the club, and Hull are believed to be in discussions with Newcastle over making the goalkeeper’s stay at the MKM Stadium permanent – as his loan agreement is believed to have as an option.
Contracted at St. James’ until 2025, it seems as though a permanent move to Hull City would be the best thing for Darlow with his position at Newcastle United seemingly gone.
Where do you think Karl Darlow will be next season – let us know on our social media and follow us for latest North East Updates – https://linktr.ee/northeastupdates
Our Premier League Team of the Season 2022/2023
With the season drawing to a close, we have put together our Premier League Team of the Season.
In what has been a season that is set to go right down to the very end, it has been yet another spectacular campaign of football with players breaking out on to the scene and some very memorable moments.
Lets have a look at who we have decided is in the starting 11 for the Team of the Season.
The starting 11 was chosen in terms of not only who we think has been the best in those positions, but also who has either exceeded expectations but also who has done exactly what was expected of them in their position.
Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier and Sven Botman mean Newcastle United make up 60% of the defence in this team, but for good reason. This season, the magpies are currently bosting the best defence in the league conceding the least amount of goals, 24 to be precise.
William Saliba and Oleksandr Zinchenko make up the remaining two spots in the defence, the Arsenal duo have had a great campaign with the gunners still sat top of the league and looking to get their first league title in nearly 20 years.
A midfield three of Casemiro, Keving De Bruyne, and Martin Odegaard, three players so vital to their clubs and all having a wonderful season, it’s hard to put anyone else in there over them.
Up top, we have a front three of Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford, and Erling Haaland as all three players have had goals, influence, and star power in their clubs to push them to the very top this season.
The substitutes include top of the league goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, which seems harsh to leave him out of the starting squad but up against Nick Pope, either could go in and it would be a good decision, but Ramsdale just makes it onto our bench.
Ben Mee has had a cracking season with Brentford seeing them looking set to enjoy a top half finish with him at the heart of defence. Luke Shaw gets on the bench after a solid season under Ten Hag at United.
Bruno Guimaraes, Gabriel Martinelli, and Harry Kane are the remaining players on the bench, all have had a fantastic season but unfortunately only make the bench for this squad.
Roberto De Zerbi is the manager of the season for us, having joined Brighton in September following Graham Potter’s departure, many thought this spelt the end of Brighton’s good fortunes in the Premier League, but not only did De Zerbi do better than expected of him, he has taken a very good Brighton and Hove Albion team and improved them navigating them to a top half finish.
Manchester City only see two players in this team, although they have had a great season, the rotation of the team sees a great team instead of individual players, which is a testament to how Pep Guardiola wants his teams to be.
Premier League 22/23 Team of the Season:
Nick Pope (GK), Kieran Trippier, William Saliba, Sven Botman, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Casemiro, Kevin De Bruyne, Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford, Erling Haaland.
Aaron Ramsdale (GK), Ben Mee, Luke Shaw, Bruno Guimaraes, Alexis Mac Allister, Gabriel Martinelli, Harry Kane
Manager: Roberto De Zerbi (Brighton)
Who would you put in your Premier League Team of the Season – Let us know on our social media and follow us for latest North East Updates – https://linktr.ee/northeastupdates
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