MATCH PREVIEW – Sunderland AFC vs Oldham Athletic: How seriously will Johnson take the Papa John’s Trophy tie?
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.
SAFC – W D W D L
OAFC – L L W L L
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…
Newcastle United to Reveal New Shirt Sponsor?
footballinsider247 are reporting that the main shirt sponsor slot for Newcastle United is expected to be filled by airline SAUDI, who sponsored Newcastle’s mid-season tour of their owners’ homeland in December.
They state ‘This site revealed in February that there is frustration at St James’ Park that they have inherited a kit deal with Castore worth just £5m per year with no break clause and several seasons left to run.’
Newcastle’s recently appointed CEO Darren Eales has already previously expressed that the club at looking at all commercial opportunities and fans on Twitter were keen to mock up their expectation for the new shirts, see below and let us know your thoughts and also see our below video on how NUFC can increase commercial avenues..
Eddie Howe’s team are currently in a strong position to achieve a European slot which would increase revenue into the club allowing more spend whilst staying within Financial Fair Play which is something Howe has spoken about on several occasions as they look to stay within. If the club do reach a European slot it should help significantly with recruitment in the summer by making it a more attractive proposition to any incoming targets.
What do you think of the kits – let us know on our facebook page and join in on the conversation.
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Credit: NUFC kit concept – twitter
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Amazon filming Newcastle United for “All or Nothing” style documentary
Amazon Prime are currently filming behind-the-scenes footage at Newcastle United for a new documentary.
The docu-series will provide an insight into the club and its efforts to secure a top-four finish and a piece of silverware in the 2022-23 season.
Reports today revealed that camera crews have been filming a four-part documentary for their All or Nothing series. Sky Sports’ Keith Downie confirmed that the series will cover the club and the new owners as they attempt to qualify for the Champions League and win a trophy.
The All or Nothing series has previously documented other Premier League Clubs including Manchester City, Arsenal, and Spurs as well as the Brazilian national team, Juventus, and the All Blacks of rugby.
Something I mentioned last night on @tfNUFC: Camera crews have been filming behind-the-scenes at Newcastle United for a four-part documentary to be shown on Amazon.
The series will chart the club & its owners as they attempt to win a trophy & qualify for The Champ League #NUFC
— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) February 8, 2023
Newcastle face Manchester United in the Carabao Cup final on February 26 at Wembley.
🗓️ 26.02.23@ManUtd 🆚 @NUFC #EFL | #CarabaoCup pic.twitter.com/V23zWPDoxP
— Carabao Cup (@Carabao_Cup) February 1, 2023
The Magpies have featured three times in Europe’s most prestigious competition.
Most recently in the 2003-04 season as they reached the third qualifying round, eventually losing on penalties to Serbian side FK Partizan.
The season before the Toon finished third in the 2002-03 Champions League group stages, winning twice against Bayer Leverkusen and drawing with Inter Milan 2-2 at the San Siro. The lineup that night; Given, Solano, O’Brien, Dyer, Shearer (C), Bellamy, Speed, Griffin, Hughes, Dabizas and Viana.
The series is expected to air later this year and will be available on Amazon Prime.
Based on previous seasons, you can expect exclusive access to training sessions, team meetings and match days, giving fans an in-depth look at what goes on behind the scenes on a day-to-day basis at Newcastle United.
It is set to be an incredible storyline and one that should provide fans with some real insight into what it takes to compete at the top level of professional football.
What do you think Newcastle fans?
Does this excite you or do you stand more with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp who once said the cameras could be intrusive to the dressing room when he turned down the offer from Amazon In 2018?
Join the conversation on our Facebook page…
Newcastle target rejects Everton move following £45m bid.
Everton have made a £40million bid with £5m in add-ons to sign Connor Gallagher from Chelsea.
This comes after Newcastle completed the signing of Anthony Gordon, the club’s second most expensive transfer behind Alexander Isak.
Everton received an initial fee of £40m plus add-ons that could increase the deal to £45m.
EXCL: Everton have submitted a bid to sign Conor Gallagher from Chelsea. It’s £40m proposal plus £5m add ons. 🚨🔵 #EFC
Chelsea will make a decision soon as there are also other clubs interested in Gallagher — and player has to decide his future too. pic.twitter.com/xZeuGqaR01
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 30, 2023
The Toffees currently sit 19th in the Premier League and are looking to reinvest the money from the Gordon deal to sign much-needed players under newly appointed manager Sean Dyche.
But, multiple sources have reported today that Gallagher is not actively pushing for a move and has no intention of going to Goodison Park. However, with Chelsea having met the record-breaking €120m release clause for World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez, Gallagher may be forced to leave the club if the transfer is complete.
🚨| Conor Gallagher is not interested in a move to Everton 🔵 pic.twitter.com/0CYzXjBoBd
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) January 30, 2023
This leaves Newcastle an option as the player would prefer a move to a top-six club.
This morning, Eddie Howe said, “We’ll see what we can do to try & bring a player in. There’s no guarantees. In terms of permanent signings, it will be very difficult. We’ll look at a potential loan. But it’s got to be the right player & not one for the sake of it”.
Due to financial fair play, the only way Newcastle could sign the player is through a loan, with an obligation to buy the player for at least £45m, the same price they paid for Anthony Gordon.
Gallagher has been playing regular Premier League football over the last two seasons. Since returning to his parent club Chelsea, the 22-year-old has been linked with a move away to numerous Premier League clubs.
Last season he was named Crystal Palace’s Player of the Season by their fans. He also won the Player of the Month award twice, Goal of the Month once, and was awarded the Young Player of Year at the 2022 London Football Awards.
In the same season, he made 36 appearances scoring eight goals and registering three assists that earned Palace a 12th-place finish, one point behind Newcastle.
Have Your Say!
Would you want Newcastle to sign Conor Gallagher?
Does he start?
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