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MATCH PREVIEW – Sunderland AFC VS Lincoln City: Black Cats go top with win



Sunderland welcome Lincoln to the Stadium of Light on Tuesday evening...

Sunderland welcome relegation-threatened Lincoln City to the Stadium of Light on Tuesday evening knowing that a win would take them to the top of League One.

Lee Johnson’s side have been in free-flowing goalscoring form, scoring 11 goals in their previous 3 games, including the 5-0 demolition of Sheffield Wednesday last time out at home.

The Black Cats have a fantastic home record winning ten of their twelve battles one Wearside and are currently on a 10 game unbeaten run.

Sunderland faced a tough fixture last time out, drawing 3-3 away at Wycombe in a top of the table clash. The away side scored in the closing stages and thought they had claimed all three points before conceding in the 99th minute as the hosts rescued a late point.

Ross Stewart scored another two goals at Adams Park, the Scottish frontman having now netted 17 times in 25 league appearances this season, making him the leading goalscorer in League One.

Despite having played more games than most of their promotion rivals, the Black Cats can lay down a huge marker in the race to the Championship on Tuesday evening with a win over Lincoln. The hosts are one of the favourites for the automatic places and have all the momentum heading into the second half of the season.

Johnson’s side still have key games against Wigan and Rotherham coming up in the next couple of months but face six games in the next eight against teams in the bottom half of the table, knowing that if they continue their unbeaten form they will have some much-needed momentum for the crunch games ahead.

Sunderland edged the Papa John’s trophy meeting between the two sides back in October, winning 2-1 at the Sincil Bank Stadium courtesy of goals from Dan Neil and Stephen Wearne.

Meanwhile, Lincoln only moved outside of the relegation zone at the weekend, getting the better of promotion contenders Oxford United. The Imps (nicknamed after the legend of the Lincoln Imp) would have expected to continue their fine form from last season which saw them agonisingly miss out on a place in the Championship after their League One play-off loss.

However, Michael Appleton’s side have struggled to find any sort of form this term and face a battle for survival for the remainder of the season. The side earned an unexpected victory over Oxford to move Appleton’s team outside of the bottom four, ending a seven-game winless streak in the process.

Given the players at his disposal, Appleton will be confident that Lincoln will eventually move clear of any danger, but they require more performances like the one at Sincil Bank at the weekend.


 W D L W W D


  • Sunderland have won their last two matches against Lincoln in all competitions, winning 2-1 at home in the second leg of last season’s League One play-offs and 2-1 in the EFL Trophy earlier this season.
  • In 2021, Sunderland won 19 home matches in all competitions, only ever winning more in two years in their history: 24 in 1962 and 23 in 1998.
  • Since a run of three consecutive away league clean sheets in April 2021 – all 1-0 wins against Bristol Rovers, Burton Albion and Shrewsbury Town – Lincoln have kept one in 13 games on the road, a goalless draw with Doncaster in November.
  • Lincoln have only won away at Sunderland once in seven attempts in all competitions (D3 L3), a 4-2 win on Boxing Day in 1959.


Sunderland will be without midfielder Corry Evans, who will have to sit out after suffering a head injury at Wycombe. Johnson has suggested that none of his other sidelined players will return, as Jack Diamond is likely to be named a substitute once again on Tuesday evening.

Denver Hume is available but expected to have a place on the bench.

Bailey Wright is also a doubt after missing the weekend draw in Buckinghamshire, whilst Aiden O’Brien is being monitored as he recovers from Covid-19. Thorben Hoffmann, Lee Burge and Leon Dajaku are also among those who are likely to be absent following positive Covid tests before the weekend.

Anthony Patterson will start in goal once again. Lee Johnson gave an update this morning:

“All we can do is pray, really. I don’t think we’ll have any injuries back, but I’m not sure. Maybe Aiden O’Brien can play a part, we’ll just have to see. The boys have got to recover, and we go again. We’re on the right path, we keep going, we stay strong, and we’ll keep trying to improve.”

Lincoln defender Lewis Montsma sustained a knee injury against Oxford, leading to Lasse Sorensen having to deputise in a deeper position than usual. Fellow central defenders Joe Walsh (quad) and Adam Jackson (concussion) remain out, with Regan Poole and TJ Eyoma set partner each other at Sunderland on Tuesday.

Given the club’s injury list, midfielder Sorensen may line up in that role on Tuesday, while Anthony Scully will be assessed after making his first start since November 20.

Michael Appleton is ready to recall Max Melbourne from his loan spell at Stevenage amid Lincoln City’s centre-back shortage. With no back-up in the heart of defence, Melbourne looks set to rejoin the club, although it may only be a short-term solution.


SAFC:                                                                                               LCFC:


Pre-match thoughts? Score predictions? Will Johnson’s side go top of League One?

Join in the conversation and have your say…


Saudi Arabia wants its investors to own Manchester United



North East Updates - Breaking News

Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.


Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.


It follows the Manchester United board announcing that they are open to a sale of the club.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisalstated he would be keen on Ronaldo signing for a Saudi Pro League after the World Cup, with the 37-year-old a free agent following a controversial interview and exit to Manchester United earlier this week..


“Who wouldn’t want him to play in their league?” “He’s a role model to a lot of young players – him and Messi.”


Sky news are reporting – It is the availability of United – after the Glazers announced plans for a potential sale – and Ronaldo that is interesting Prince Abdulaziz.


What are your thoughts on this – join the conversation on our Facebook page.


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Which Newcastle Players Are Going To The World Cup?




The FIFA World Cup in Qatar gets underway next week and here are all the Newcastle players involved in the tournament

Callum Wilson (England)

Newcastle striker Callum Wilson is a player that has consistently shown the quality to earn a spot in an England squad at a major tournament but has sadly had his chances diminished by injuries in the past.

However, Wilson is currently injury free and is on the plane to Qatar! The Coventry City academy graduate averages a goal every 130 minutes in the Premier League this season, which is the second-best return of all English players behind Harry Kane.

The 30-year-old may have to bide his time for an opportunity due to England captain Harry Kane being the first-choice striker. That said, Wilson gives Gareth Southgate a great alternative should England find themselves chasing a game.

Kieran Trippier (England)

Gareth Southgate has always been very fond of Kieran Trippier’s abilities and what he brings to a team. For example, in Euro 2020 Southgate opted to play Trippier at left-back ahead of a more natural option in Ben Chilwell due to the 32-year-old’s experience and leadership qualities.

Trippier brings bags of experience at major tournaments after reaching the semi-final of the 2018 World Cup and the final of Euro 2020.

With injuries at right-back to the likes of Reece James and uncertainty around the fitness of Kyle Walker, Trippier could start at right wing-back in England’s World Cup opener against Iran.

Nick Pope (England)

The last player to complete The Magpies’ England trio is Nick Pope. Toon’s No.1 has been outstanding since arriving from Burnley in the Summer and has earnt his place in England’s World Cup squad.

Pope has the joint most clean sheets in the Premier League this season (6) alongside Manchester City goalkeeper, Ederson and fellow England goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

It remains to be seen if Gareth Southgate picks Pope to be his first-choice goalkeeper in Qatar ahead of Jordan Pickford and Aaron Ramsdale. Pope started both of England’s last games in the Nations League back in September.

Bruno Guimarães (Brazil)

Moving to South America and the favourites to win the competition, Brazil. Bruno Guimarães has been one of Newcastle’s stand-out players this season and has deservedly earned himself a spot in Brazil’s very competitive World Cup Squad.

Guimarães has statistically been the best midfielder in the Premier League so far this season and will be hoping his performances have done enough to earn him a start against Serbia in Brazil’s opening fixture.

That said, Brazil manager Adenor Leonardo Bacchi has predominantly played with a midfield two of Manchester United duo, Casemiro and Fred at the base of the Brazilian midfield.

Fabian Schär (Switzerland)

The Magpies’ centre-back has been in great form alongside Sven Botman at the heart of Newcastle’s defence this season and will be hoping to continue his form in Qatar.

Schär has some tough competition in his position in the form of Manchester City centre-back Manuel Akanji and Borussia Monchengladbach’s Nico Elvedi.

Switzerland find themselves in the same group as tournament favourites Brazil, which will see Schär reunited with Toon teammate Bruno Guimarães in Gameweek 2.

Who didn’t make the squad?

The most surprising player to not make their country’s squad is Sven Botman. The former Lille centre-back has been a major part of why Newcastle has the Premier League’s best defence so far this campaign.

Louis van Gaal has a great pool of centre-backs available to him and opted for the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Matthijs de Ligt, Stefan de Vrij and Nathan Ake over Botman.

Another Toon player with World Cup disappointment is Joelinton, who has failed to follow Bruno Guimarães on the plane to Qatar.

Joelinton has been a revelation under Eddie Howe following his remarkable transformation from a striker to a box-to-box midfielder. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for Joelinton this year.

Have Your Say

Who do you think will win the World Cup?

Which Newcastle player will be the best performer?

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What We Learnt (Spurs 1-2 Newcastle)



deadline day

Newcastle United were victorious at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium yesterday, winning 2-1 and now sit fourth in the Premier League. This is the first time they’ve been there at this stage of the season in 10 years.


Goals from Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron were enough to scare away any chances of a second-half Spurs comeback. That’s six goals for Miggy in what is now his best-ever season for goals in black and white.


With 21 points, just five behind Manchester City and seven behind current league leaders Arsenal, the Toon are looking better than ever, but what did the victory yesterday tell us?


Toon are charging for Europe


If you didn’t believe it at the start of the season you should now. Eddie Howe has transformed Newcastle into a team with a winning mentality with a real sense of togetherness in a squad who are willing to battle for one another, week in and week out.


Very few teams will travel to London this season and manage to come away with a point, never mind three when playing Spurs. Not only this game, however, but Man City (3-3), Liverpool (2-1) and Brentford (5-1) have also shown that Howe and his side mean business this season and are willing to go toe to toe with some of the very best teams, coaches and players in the world. 


In his first signing interview, Sven Botman said, “Newcastle wants to reach the top and the top is in the league and, at the end, maybe in Europe.” Maybe he didn’t specifically mean this season but now he and the rest of his teammates should believe that they have a real chance of playing European football next season.


Almiron transformation shouldn’t go unnoticed


Almiron made 30 appearances last season in the league and finished with just one goal and no assists. Now, after just 12 games and six goals, the Paraguayan is already on course to smash his previous goal-scoring records which have seen him accumulate nine Premier League goals over the course of four seasons. 


Loved by the fans and with the full support of his teammates, it can only get better for the Paraguayan at this point. His goal against Tottenham showed the dribbling, flair and finishing quality he withholds, something that Steve Bruce and Rafael Benitez could never get out of him.


Eddie Howe must be awarded credit for this development, as with the current budget the club has, he could’ve easily found a replacement in the summer. But, just like Joelinton, Miggy has cemented his spot in Newcastle’s starting eleven and is proving every week why he deserves to be there.


Wilson & Burn should be considered by Southgate 


On TalkSport recently, Neil Warnock warned Gareth Southgate saying his loyalty to players might be his downfall and said Dan Burn is “Mr Steady Eddie” referring to his versatility, being able to play left-back or centre-back.


Burn started 28 Premier League games last season and this season has 11 out of 12. His consistent dominating performances in Newcastle’s back line have put him into the conversation for a first-ever England call-up and I don’t think many would disagree. With John Stoned injured, Harry Maguire and Tyrone Mings not in good form and not getting regular game time, Gareth Southgate’s defensive decisions should now be a lot more challenging.


Callum Wilson has proved yet again his abilities as a top Premier League striker. His goal against Spurs not only put him in the headlines over England captain Harry Kane but also made it four in eight for the English man this season who has averaged 2.8 shots per game with an average scoring frequency of 162 minutes. 


With no clear-cut backup striker to Kane, is Wilson ahead of Ivan Toney and Tammy Abraham in the race to be England’s number two striker?


So, what do you think? Do Newcastle have a serious chance at European football next season, can Almiron stay at his best and should Wilson and Burn be considered for a World Cup call-up?


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