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MATCH PREVIEW – Doncaster Rovers vs Sunderland AFC: Black Cats can move into automatic promotion places with win

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Sunderland know a win over Doncaster would see them move into second...

Sunderland travel to relegation-threatened Doncaster Rovers on Monday afternoon knowing a win would see them move into second and within a point of table toppers Rotherham.

The Black Cats haven’t played since their decent display away at the Emirates in the Carabao Cup and will be hoping they have the quality to collect the three points to take them into the League One automatic promotion places.

The hosts, on the other hand, head into the game without a win over the visitors in any of the last six meetings between the sides since 2015 and sit just one point above the foot of the table in 23rd.

Doncaster haven’t played since the 11th December, when they picked up just their fourth league win this term in the 1-0 victory over Shrewsbury, who were hugely wasteful on the day.

Sunderland are currently seven games unbeaten in League One (4 wins and 3 draws) and were disappointed by the 1-1 scoreline last time out at Portman Road, as Nathan Broadhead netted his fifth of the season.

However, the visitors are without their star striker after the Everton-loanee limped off in the 5-1 defeat to Arsenal, having suffered a repeat of a hamstring injury.

Johnson’s side will be confident they can get back to winning ways this afternoon and continue their unbeaten run against Doncaster which dates back to 2015. The team in Red and White are looking for promotion back to the Championship after three long years in the third tier and will expecting to add three more points to their tally at the Keepmoat Stadium.

The Black Cats have moved to a more direct style in recent weeks which features front-foot, attacking football and they showed glimpses of their quality against Premier League opposition last time out.

Despite losing 5-1, the Wearsiders made a good account of themselves both on and off the pitch, and will be full of confidence ahead of their clash with Rovers. A win would see the Wearsiders leapfrog the Latics in second after their Boxing Day game was cancelled due to Covid.

The hosts are by far the lowest scoring side in the league and have netted just 13 times in 21 games. Since gaining promotion to League One in 2017, Doncaster have improved each season but this campaign has been a struggle for the home side who are currently second bottom of League One.

Sunderland have struggled away from home at times this season and need to pick up the three points to keep the pressure on their promotion rivals, especially with Rotherham slipping up yesterday afternoon in their 1-0 away loss at Accrington Stanley.

Today is a huge opportunity for the visitors. It’s the last away trip of 2021 for the Black Cats who seek their fourteenth win this campaign as 20 places and 27 points separate the two sides. Sunderland won 4-1 when the two sides last met back in February.

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  • Monday’s game will mark the 10th meeting between Doncaster Rovers and Sunderland. The hosts have won just one of their previous meetings while the visitors have won six times. There have been two draws between the two sides.
  • Doncaster Rovers have lost just two of their last nine home league matches (W4 D3) since a six-game losing run between April and August.
  • Sunderland manager Lee Johnson is looking to win away at Doncaster in the league for the first time since August 2014, when he was Oldham manager. He has lost once since then, a 2-1 defeat with Barnsley in October 2015.

TEAM NEWS

The most notable absentee is on-loan Everton striker Nathan Broadhead who suffered a hamstring injury last time out in the Carabao Cup quarter-final having got his side back into the game with a sublime chip.

Broadhead has scored seven goals this term, with five of those coming in League One, with the 23-year-old netting four in his last three games, making him a big miss for the visitors on Monday afternoon.

Luke O’Nien is set to sit out his eighth consecutive game after picking up an injury in November’s clash with Shrewsbury Town, while Aiden McGeady is not expected to feature until January after sustaining a knee problem. Leon Dajaku hobbled off the pitch after just 41 minutes in versus Ipswich Town two Saturdays ago and but the German forward is expected to make the match-day squad.

Both Dennis Cirkin and Corry Evans have been sidelined through hernia and calf problems respectively and are yet to return to full fitness, meaning they’re unlikely to return to the starting eleven this afternoon.

Doncaster Rovers have been fielding a very young team in recent weeks given their long injury list, but the players have shown plenty of fighting spirit under caretaker boss Gary McSheffrey and will need that in abundance on Monday when they face the promotion favourites.

Fejiri Okenabirhie, Ben Close, John Bostock and Anthony Greaves are all unavailable for selection due to injuries and will miss the game against Sunderland.

POTENTIAL LINE-UPs

SAFC:                                                                                                                                       Doncaster:

 

 

Pre-match thoughts? Can Sunderland move into the automatic promotion places? Will Johnson’s side extend their unbeaten run?

Join in the conversation and have your say…

News

Police Alerted After Newcastle United Fan Urinates On Statue Devoted to Sunderland Legend

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Police have been alerted about social media footage which appears to show a Newcastle United fan urinating on a statue of Sunderland football legend Bob Stokoe.

The tribute, outside Sunderland’s Stadium of Light ground, recreates the late Stokoe’s famous dance across Wembley’s turf after he had masterminded the club’s 1-0 FA Cup final victory over Leeds United.

Footage has now emerged on social media of a male wearing a Newcastle United change shirt while apparently urinating on the statue.

In response to the images, a Sunderland Football Club spokesperson said on Monday: “This matter has been referred to the police and we will not be making any further comment at this moment in time.”

Stokoe, ironically, is also a hero and an FA Cup winner on Tyneside. Born in 1930 in Mickley, in Northumberland, the central defender made 261 appearances for Newcastle United and was a member of their 1955 FA Cup final winning team.

Arriving at Sunderland in November 1972 while they were struggling towards the bottom of Division Two, he plotted the club’s FA Cup final triumph in May the following year before guiding the Black Cats back to the top flight in 1976.

He resigned just months later following a poor start to their Division One. Stokoe died at the age of 73 in 2004 in Hartlepool after suffering from pneumonia.

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Newcastle Fan Gets ‘Attacked’ by Aiden McGeady in Bar With Sunderland First Team

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A video was published to Twitter which shows a Newcastle fan get ‘attacked’ by Aiden McGeady in a bar with the Sunderland first team.

Twitter user @rheppellhardy, who has since deleted his account following backlash, wrote a tweet on Wednesday night explaining what happened in a Stack venue, before the post started to gain traction.

He said: “Why the fuck has the actual Sunderland first team come and started on me and big Premier League Aiden McGeady ripped me top in the stack 🤣🤣🤣.

 

He issued the above video before captioning it with: “Someone who I’ve never heard of said how much are yous on ur skint 🤣 league 1 yina”

Again he wrote in another post: “Scuse me mate can a have a word, do you know who I am” 🤣🤣 No fucking clue mate”

There were plenty of reaction tweets too….

@worthy_noah: “I remember my first pint aswell mate”

@worthy_noah: “Not sure I went on like this much of a cock like”

@MackemTalk_: “You saw the state of you lad he’d Snap you in half But again You had to act like the Big man Because Your boyfriends where with you”

Did you see what happened?

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Fans urged to clap at Newcastle match in memory of teen

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Mason Kirk (Credit: Family Picture)

Fans are being encouraged to clap at Newcastle match on Saturday in memory of teen who died from cancer.

Mason Kirk passed away suddenly from a rare form of cancer in January – ITV reports.

The family of the 17-year-old are urging people to clap at the 17th minute of the Newcastle vs Brighton match.

His dad Michael told ITV News Tyne Tees: “After complaining about back pain for several weeks and unsuccessful trips to a walk-in centre, and his GP, I took him to A&E where he received an MRI scan that showed lesions in his spine.

“We were transferred to the RVI, which is where we received a diagnosis no parent wants to hear – aggressive and inoperable late-stage ATRT cancer in his spine and brainstem”

“Mason died on the 27 January, just nine days after he was diagnosed.

“It’s took awhile for me to pull myself round (as I suffer from severe mental illness). So I decided to begin organising something to raise awareness of ATRT and teen cancer, and to pay tribute to our beautiful brave son.

“Mason was an avid Newcastle United fan, I took him to his first game when he was 6 and he caught the NUFC bug. Later, he and his friends bought season tickets.”

Michael continues: “Mason’s memory will live on through myself, his Mam Leanne, his little brother Alfy, cousin Liam and the rest of our family.

“He was the nucleus of our lives…our world is shattered but we cannot let our courageous son’s story go untold.”

“We realise things are tight for a lot of us at the minute but we’d like any donations to go to Great North Children’s Hospital or the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.”

ITV also said that Mason will feature in the programme.

Go here to donate to Great North Children’s Hospital.

Or to donate to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation go here.

 

 

 

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