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MATCH PREVIEW – Sunderland AFC vs Morecambe: The Black Cats could go top with victory over The Shrimps



Credit: @sunderlandafcofficial instagram - The Black Cats could go top if results go their way in midweek...

Sunderland face Morecambe on Tuesday evening knowing that a win could see them return to the top of League One and extend their unbeaten league fun to five games.

The game features two sides at opposite ends of the League One table, with promotion-chasing Sunderland hosting relegation-threatened Morecambe.

Johnson’s side head into the game after their disappointing 1-1 draw with Oxford United at the Stadium of Light and will be hoping to make claim the spoils to make it five league games unbeaten.

Morecambe sit just above the relegation zone in 20th but arrive at the fixture in good spirits after their FA Cup second round victory over Buxton. However, the Shrimps were demolished 4-0 at home last time out in the league by 6th placed MK Dons.

The Black Cats have drawn two of their last four games and will be hoping for three points come 19:45pm…

Home draws have been their achilles heel throughout the last couple of seasons and there can be no excuses on Tuesday night given the difference in quality between the two sides.

Manager Johnson will be expecting his side to have quick start like on Saturday and stamp their authority on the clash in the early stages at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland find themselves comfortably in the play-off positions in 5th and are just two points off table toppers Rotherham, with a game in hand on some of their closest rivals. A position of real strength heading into the manic Christmas period despite some fans booing at the last home fixture.

Leon Dajaku took the lead for his side in the opening stages on Saturday afternoon but after Oxford equalised through Matty Taylor just nine minutes before the break as the Black Cats were unable to find a winner.

Credit: @sunderlandafcofficial – Dajaku celebrates with teammates after taking an early lead

The second half performance will have pleased Johnson as Sunderland pushed for victory but the home side couldn’t find the cutting edge.

Sunderland are strong favourites heading into Tuesday’s fixture with relegation candidates Morecambe and can ill afford another frustrating result at the Stadium of Light if they want to maintain their momentum at the top.

Whilst the signs were again positive, the quality of service needs swift improvement for the Black Cats if they are to gain promotion back to the Championship at the third time of asking.

There were numerous occasions where players took one touch too many and failed to take a touch when in space as Sunderland’s performance was again plagued with poor decisions in attacking areas.

Ross Stewart will be hoping to find some form and notch for the first time since the 5-1 thrashing from Rotherham. Midfielder Alex Pritchard has looked most likely to provide game changing moments in the last couple of games and will be keen to put in another good performance for the home crowd.

Although many will have expected the Shrimps to already be cut adrift at the bottom of the table, Steve Robinson’s side head to the North-East just outside of the relegation places for now.

Morecambe have the second worst defensive record in League One and despite their admirable attacking style which sees them the 10th highest scorers, they will need to tighten up at the back if they are to get anything out of the game on Wearside.

The Shrimps have won just one of their previous nine league games but do head into the clash having progressed to the third round of the FA Cup thanks to a 1-0 win over Northern Premier League side Buxton – courtesy of Cole Stockton’s 17th goal of the season.


 D W D W L D


  • The last time the teams played back in November 2018, the match ended with Sunderland coming out 1-0 away winners in the League Cup.
  • This will be the first Football League meeting between Sunderland and Morecambe. The Black Cats have lost just one of their last 15 Football League games against newly promoted sides (W11 D3) – a 2-1 defeat to Plymouth Argyle in January.
  • Sunderland have only lost one of their last 10 home league games (W7 D2) – only Oxford United (24) have earned more home points in League One this season.


Sunderland’s injury list grew even further prior to their draw with Oxford at the weekend, with Frederik Alves and Will Harris missing out.

The duo are unavailable for the next couple of weeks, while Ellis Taylor is also absent due to illness.

Aiden McGeady, Luke O’Nien, Dennis Cirkin, Denver Hume and Corry Evans are included on the long list of injuries for Johnson, meaning a number of youngsters are expected to be involved in the match-day squad again. At the weekend the Black Cats had just two ‘senior’ names on the bench with the rest made up of inexperienced U23’s.

The growing list means that Sunderland will be looking to add to the squad in January but with six games to go until the transfer window opens, the manager needs to find an eleven who can maintain the momentum heading into the festive period.

Johnson’s options to make changes to his starting line-up for the visit of Morecambe remain minimal due to these injury issues as he only made two subs against Oxford on Saturday. Therefore it could be expected that we see a very similar line-up from the weekend…

Meanwhile for Morecambe, Jonathan Obika is close to making his debut for the club but his lack of match fitness means he is likely to be left out once again.

Aaron Wildig and Josh McPake are close to returned from injury following their involvement in a reserves fixture last week and their fitness is being monitored.

The Weekend’s match-winner Stockton came through unscathed after putting in another impressive performance against Buxton and the star man will lead the line once more.

Kyle Letheren returned between the posts on Saturday, and is expected to start in goal at the Stadium of Light.


Expected Morecambe team to face Sunderland

Expected SAFC team to play Morecambe











Pre-match thoughts? Score predictions?

Are you frustrated after the 1-1 draw with Oxford? Can Sunderland go top during the Christmas period? Will Johnson’s side gain 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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