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MATCH PREVIEW – Sunderland AFC vs Oldham Athletic: How seriously will Johnson take the Papa John’s Trophy tie?



Credit: @sunderlandafcofficial instagram - Sunderland face Oldham in the second round of the Papa John's Trophy...

Sunderland welcome League Two strugglers Oldham to the Stadium of Light on Wednesday evening in the second round of the Papa John’s Trophy – a cup the Black Cats won last season. 

The Wearsider’s victory over Cambridge United last weekend was much needed and came courtesy of a goal straight from a corner, before Nathan Broadhead’s superb strike in the 36th minute which proved to be the match winner.

Lee Johnson faces a selection dilemma ahead of the clash with Oldham on Wednesday evening. His side have a growing injury list and given the importance of gaining promotion this campaign, the game with the Latics may be seen as an unwanted distraction.

Will he risk many first team players? As always, opinions are split.

Momentum is everything in football and Sunderland need to win every game they are part of. 

Despite the fact the EFL trophy is not high on the list of priorities for the club, the Black Cats may see the fixture as a chance to gain some much-needed momentum which will improve the sides chances of continuing the unbeaten streak.

Some new names are expected to feature but wholesale changes may not benefit the side. A number of first-team players could do with time under their belt.

Alex Pritchard is finding some form recently and would enjoy an opportunity to find the net against a weak League Two side. Ross Stewart is the top scorer so far this season but hasn’t found the net since the abysmal 5-1 defeat at Rotherham last month – he would welcome a chance to get back on the scoresheet. 

There are younger players who certainly deserve a chance as Johnson is likely to mix it up, treating the Trophy with respect whilst sending the right message.

The Sunderland boss has approached the Papa John’s Trophy well in the past – using the competition to test out youth prospects whilst getting some minutes in the legs of his key players. It’s likely Johnson will go into the game on Wednesday evening with a similar approach, showing the club are taking it seriously but will be wary of the testing Christmas period ahead. 

The home side are looking to build on their victory on Saturday afternoon over the U’s and Wednesday night provides a perfect opportunity to get another win.

Sunderland face a tough week of League One fixtures after the game with Oldham – starting with the testing visit of Oxford on Saturday, before a tricky midweek away trip to struggling Morecambe.

The Black Cats then face a top six battle with Plymouth to end the run of three league games in seven days.

Johnson’s side could be forgiven for putting their Papa John’s trophy run on a back-burner but will see the game on Wednesday as winnable.

The home side will be looking to build their confidence ahead of the incoming crunch fixtures, especially in a competition Sunderland went on to win last year after beating Tranmere 1-0 in the 2020/2021 final.




Team News

Lee Johnson’s side face injury ‘challenges’ going into the home visit of Oldham which kicks-off at 7pm on Wednesday.

The Black Cats have an injury list of 7-8 players for the clash and questions have been asked over how seriously the home side can take this one, given the importance of the league.

However, the home side are likely to put out a pretty strong startling eleven in the hope to continue the form shown in the 2-1 away win over Cambridge.

Aiden McGeady remains out for 8-12 weeks with a knee injury as confirmed in the press conference last week. Denver Hume is still doubtful as Luke O’Nien is set to miss out with a persistent shoulder injury which may require surgery. 

There is a chance for younger players to play their way into contention given the growing list of injuries recently sustained. 

Tyrese Dyce, Ellis Taylor and Will Harris are all in contention to feature. While Frederik Alves and Arbenit Xhemajli may be given a place on the bench.

This is how Sunderland lined-up last time out:


Who would you like to see in the side tomorrow evening? 

Join in the conversation and have your say…


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



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



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



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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