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MATCH PREVIEW – Sunderland AFC vs Plymouth Argyle: The Black Cats look to make it back-to-back home wins and could move into automatic promotion places with victory



Credit: @sunderlandafcofficial instagram - Sunderland look to make it back-to-back home wins...

Sunderland welcome fellow promotion hopeful’s Plymouth to the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon following their midweek demolition of the Shrimps.

A win for the home side could see them return to the automatic promotion places once again and would add to the momentum created by their current five-game unbeaten run.

Rotherham and Wigan are amongst the three teams above Sunderland in the table and both have 41 points, with Wigan having played a game less.

The sides will be expecting to win their home games against Burton and Ipswich respectively but a slip up from either team could see the Wearsiders move into the automatic promotion spots.

Wycombe are in third and have played a game more than Sunderland and two more than Wigan so are expected to drop down the table once everyone has played the same number of fixtures. They are also on 41 points and face 17th place AFC Wimbledon on Saturday afternoon.

Despite slip-ups being unlikely this game-week, Sunderland must keep their momentum going and add to the pressure on the teams above them as the Black Cats remain one of the most in-form teams in the league.

Manager Lee Johnson will be happy with his sides display on Tuesday evening after they showed an attacking ruthlessness and pressed with a high-intensity but will know good performances must continue if his side are to gain promotion back to the Championship.

Sunderland have moved up to third after five games without a loss and head into the weekend’s clash just two points adrift of the automatic promotion places.

Although they failed to claim victory in the Oxford clash last weekend, that result didn’t dampen spirits in the Sunderland dressing room as they thumped Morecambe 5-0 in midweek.

Leon Dajaku managed to get himself on the scoresheet once again, and there was a goal each for Ross Stewart and Alex Pritchard, while Nathan Broadhead netted a brace.

Credit: @sunderlandafcofficial instagram

Lee Johnson named an unchanged team for the third consecutive game as the Black Cats faced the Shrimps on Tuesday evening, but did play a slightly tweaked formation. The manager has identified the need to move to a more fast-passed and front-foot style in his quest for promotion.

Therefore Sunderland are playing more direct and have a team full of mobile attackers – but more steel might be required against albeit a much tougher opponent this weekend in Plymouth, who themselves are battling for promotion.

The Wearsiders look to claim seven points from a possible nine in their fixtures this week and will be hopeful of drawing upon their impressive home form that has helped them to win eight of their ten games at the Stadium of Light this term.

Steven Schumacher will be take charge of his first away game as Plymouth Argyle boss when his side travel to the North East for Saturday’s League One encounter and will be looking for his side to get their first win in five League One games.

The Pilgrims, who were once table toppers, have dropped down to fifth in the table but are still in the hunt for promotion and will be hoping to be galvanised under their new boss.

Only two points separate Schumacher’s side and Sunderland, meaning the visitors could leapfrog the Black Cats with a victory.


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  • The last league encounter between these clubs was in League One last season and finished Plymouth Argyle 1-3 Sunderland.
  • Sunderland have scored at least 2 goals in 6 of their last 7 matches against Plymouth in all competitions.
  • Sunderland have earned the most home points (25) and conceded the fewest home goals (5) of any side in League One so far this season.


Sunderland are still without Dennis Cirkin, Corry Evans and Denver Hume due to injury issues. The hosts are also missing the injured duo of Aiden McGeady and Niall Huggins until 2022. Luke O’Nien is recovering from surgery.

Frederik Alves and Will Harris joined Sunderland’s growing injury-list last week and there doesn’t seem to be many previously injured players back available for selection to face Plymouth,

After such an impressive display in midweek, Lee Johnson could name an unchanged lineup for Saturday’s contest, for the fourth game running.

Plymouth are likely to keep changes to a minimum, although Danny Mayor may come into the side with Ryan Broom dropping to the bench.

Ryan Hardie has top-scored for the visitors this season, and he will continue his forward partnership with Luke Jephcott on Saturday.

Brendan Galloway remains the only confirmed absentee for Plymouth.


SAFC:                                                                                                                                       Plymouth:


Thoughts? Will Sunderland make it back-to-back home wins? Can Johnson’s side return to the 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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