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MATCH PREVIEW – Ipswich Town vs Sunderland AFC: The Black Cats look to make it three consecutive league wins



Credit - Oxymoron : Portman Road, the home of Ipswich Town FC : CC BY-SA 2.0

Sunderland face a tough away trip to Portman Road on Saturday afternoon to face Ipswich Town and look to make it three consecutive League One wins.

The Black Cats will be hoping to build on the previous two games in which Sunderland were victorious, most recently last Saturday’s 2-1 win against promotion rivals Plymouth Argyle at the Stadium of Light.

Johnson’s side have played a more aggressive and direct style of play in recent games, a system that has got the best out of their attacking options – especially Everton loanee Nathan Broadhead who netted his fourth of the season against Plymouth last time out.

Despite their brilliant home form this campaign, Sunderland have struggled at times on the road and will be expecting to put in a decent performance come Saturday afternoon. They have collected just 14 of their 42 points on the road this term.

With so many injuries at the back, perhaps attack is the best form of defence for the visitors who could go top with a win over The Tractor Boys.

Ipswich are in poor form heading into this one and will be expecting more of the same from the Black Cats who have been playing some free-flowing, high-intensity football in recent games – so why change a winning formula?

Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Goal difference is the only reason the Sunderland sit just behind Wigan Athletic who are second, and Lee Johnson will be aware that a positive result at the weekend could see his side move into the automatic promotion places, if not top spot on Christmas Day – making those festive beers would taste even better.

Saturday’s contest is a prime opportunity for Sunderland to claim their fifth away victory this term as the visitors will be looking to replicate their 1-0 win at Portman Road last season.

Having lost 2-0 to League Two side Barrow in the FA Second Round Replay on Wednesday evening, the team from Suffolk will be hoping to bounce back instantly with a good performance against a Sunderland team seeking their third league win in a row.

Ipswich find themselves sitting in 12th and stuck mid-table with the distinct possibility that their season might just peter out if performances don’t improve during the festive period.

The hosts are without a win in their last five games (all-comps) and fell to a 2-0 defeat the last time the sides met back in November.

The club have entered a new era having appointed Kieran McKenna as manager yesterday.

The 35-year-old Northern Irishman has entered into his first role as a number one, but has a range of coaching experience, having worked under Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Michael Carrick as assistant coach at Manchester United.

He starts his role on Monday.

Therefore, John McGreal takes charge of the game on Saturday, still looking for his first win as interim boss since taking over the reins from Paul Cook who was sacked on December 4.

Although they face a tough test at the weekend, Ipswich will aim to utilise home advantage once again after winning four of their last six league games at Portman Road. Striker Macauley Bonne has 11 goals this season, matching Sunderland’s Ross Stewart, but he is also in a dry spell having not scored in over ten games.



D W L D W W 


  • Ipswich are without a win in the last five meetings between the two sides, with Sunderland AFC winning of four occasions and the fifth being a draw.
  • Ipswich Town have failed to score in just 2 of their 11 home matches in League One this season, meaning this one could see a few goals.
  • Fourteen points and nine places separate the two sides who face off at Portman Road on Saturday afternoon.


For Sunderland, Dennis Cirkin, Denver Hume and Corry Evans have all returned to training, yet the weekend’s game may come too soon. Aiden McGeady remains unavailable and isn’t expected to return to training until at least the new year.

Lynden Gooch is a doubt for Saturday’s fixture after picking up an injury against Plymouth last weekend and will will undergo a late fitness test having been precautionarily withdrawn at half-time at the Stadium of Light. If Gooch is not available then Johnson may have to make slight alterations to the midfield – Elliot Embleton may feature.

Ipswich are expected to be without both Wes Burns and Bersant Celina as injury issues are set to rule the pair out of Saturday’s contest. Hayden Coulson hasn’t played since limping off in the 4-1 win at Wycombe (Nov 2) while Bailey Clements has sat out the last two league games.

The home side are expected to put out a very similar squad to the one that drew 1-1 away at Wigan last time out in League One.


SAFC:                                                                                                                                       Ipswich Town:


Pre-match thoughts? Score predictions?

Can Sunderland win their third consecutive League One fixture? Will the Black Cats go top for Christmas Day? Is Johnson the man to lead Sunderland to promotion?

Join in the conversation and have your say…




Eddie Howe Wants to Keep Two Out of Contract Players this Summer.



Eddie Howe Wants to Keep Two Out of Contract Players this Summer.

Newcastle United boss wants to extend the contracts of two players before losing them.

Eddie Howe has expressed in a recent fan Q&A his intentions to keep two out of contract players this summer, Loris Karius and Paul Dummett, according to the Athletic’s Chris Waugh, with both players current contracts set to end this summer.

6 players are currently set to become out of contract come June 1st, Loris Karius, Paul Dummet, Mark Gillespie, Matt Ritchie, Matty Longstaff and Ciaran Clark. However, it is only Karius and Dummett that appear to be safe of getting the chop.

Loris Karius has spent this season as Newcastle United’s third choice keeper, with only one appearance coming in the 2-0 defeat to Manchester United in the Carabao Cup Final. Despite the loss, Karius did little wrong and contributed some wonderful saves late on in that game.

Paul Dummett has had the same treatment, with only one appearance coming his way, a Carabao Cup tie in the second round against Tranmere Rovers back in August. The 31-year-old Welshman is an experienced head and will no doubt have great respect within the dressing room having signed for the club back in 2012 making 205 appearances in that time.

Both players can expect new contracts from Eddie Howe as he has made it known that he wants them both to remain at the club next season.


Who would you want to remain at the club from the current out of contract list – let us know on our social media and follow us for latest North East Updates –

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Top 10 Free Transfers NUFC Could Sign This Summer



Newcastle United Free Transfers - top 10 Summer 2023

10 players Eddie Howe could look towards with contracts expiring at the end of this season.

The free agent’s market is the absolute cheat code for clubs across the board, being able to avoid the rising transfer fees and getting players through the door through verbal agreements makes life much easier for clubs during the transfer window.

We have compiled a list of 10 free transfers NUFC could sign this summer from Europe’s top five leagues giving them a rating of the potential of them signing and the impact they would have.


  1. Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund)

The 29-year-old full back has his contract expiring this summer and with NUFC already being hinted at as his potential new club, this one is worth keeping an eye on over the next few months. He would slot straight in at left-back to have healthy competition for fan favourite Dan Burn and add a burst of class and pace to that left hand side. The Portugal international already has an impressive CV and would be looking to show that off to the St. James faithful.

Potential – A

Impact – A


  1. Yerry Mina (Everton)

With Everton potentially facing the drop this season, a jump from Merseyside to Newcastle could suit the centre back to a T. The 28-year-old Columbian international would add to NUFC’s already in form back line and bring some South American heat as they look to progress further next season. Mina possesses dominance, aggression, and a great ariel threat and would be a top addition to the magpies this summer.

Potential – B

Impact – A


  1. Jonathan Bamba (Lille)

An explosive winger who made his name known as Lille snatched the league title in 2021 in France, the 26-year-old is still yet to receive a contract extension from the club and could be looking elsewhere in the summer. Adding pace, flair, and drive to an already exciting front three for NUFC could be what fans need going into next season.

Potential – C

Impact – A


  1. Youri Tielemans (Leicester City)

Reportedly being close to leaving in the summer window of 2022, Youri Tielemans would be a fine addition to NUFC’s midfield being able to operate in a slightly deeper role to allow Bruno to push further up the field and do what he does best. The 25-year-old has his contract expiring this summer and with him and James Maddison already being linked to the club, this transfer seems to make so much more sense and would add heaps of quality to the centre of the field.

Potential – B

Impact – A


  1. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)

Drive, power, and flair are the 3 best words to describe Crystal Palace star man Wilfried Zaha. The 30-year-old could be looking to depart his beloved club in the hope for European football next season and NUFC could be just the place for him. Being able to operate either on the left or down the middle, Zaha would thrive under Eddie Howe and be a fantastic addition to the front line.

Potential – B

Impact – A

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Sunderland suspend Jack Diamond after player is charged with rape and sexual assault



A Sunderland football player on loan to Lincoln FC has had his loan terminated after he was charged with rape.

Jack Diamond, 23, had been arrested after a sexual assault in Washington, Tyne and Wear, last year.

Northumbria Police launched an investigation, but have now charged him with one count of rape and one count of sexual assault.

Lincoln City FC said the player’s loan contract had been terminated “with immediate effect”.

His home club, Sunderland AFC, said he had been suspended pending the outcome of legal proceedings.

In a statement, it said: “Sunderland AFC has been notified that criminal charges have been brought against Jack Diamond by the Crown Prosecution Service.”

“As this matter is subject to a legal process, the club will not be making any further statement at this time”.

The incident is alleged to have happened in May last year.

Mr Diamond, of Fatfield, also Washington, is due to appear before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court in May.

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