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

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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.

 

FORM

D W L D W W 

W L D L D L

  • 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.

TEAM NEWS

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.

POTENTIAL LINE-UPs

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…

 

 

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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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