Connect with us


MATCH PREVIEW – Sunderland AFC vs Sheffield Wednesday: Black Cats could enter New Year as league leaders with a win



Credit - Ben Sutherland va flickr: The Black Cats can go top with a win over the Owls...

Sunderland welcome Sheffield Wednesday to the Stadium of Light on Thursday evening knowing that a win would take them to the top of League One heading into 2022 and the remainder of the season. 

Yes, many promotion rivals have games in hand, however the Black Cats are one of the most in-form teams in the league and bounced back quickly from the Carabao Cup defeat to Arsenal by smashing Doncaster Rovers 3-0 on their own patch on Monday afternoon.

Ross Stewart’s penalty, Elliot Embleton’s strike and an own goal from Ben Blythe gave the visitors a comfortable victory and saw them move to within one point of leaders Rotherham United.

Johnson’s side have been hit with a couple of Covid cases but the clash with the Owls is still expected to go ahead. Carl Winchester faces a race against time to be fit having suffered a knock in training which kept him out of the Doncaster game.

Sheffield Wednesday haven’t been in action since the 11th December due to their own complications with covid but were in fine form before their unexpected 19 day break. Darren Moore’s side are difficult to break down and have the best defensive record in the third tier – it’s likely to be a close encounter.

Sunderland have the best home record in League One and have picked up 28 points from a possible 33 at the Stadium of Light. The home side know a win would take them above Rotherham into top spot, heading into the New Year in the best way possible.

The Black Cats are chasing promotion back to the Championship after three seasons in the third tier and will take a huge step towards their target with a win against the Owls.

Lee Johnson’s side are unbeaten in their last eight league matches and have conceded just six goals in their 11 home league games, the fewest in the division.

The Owls were the last side to beat Sunderland in the league after a 3-0 win for Darren Moore’s team at Hillsborough in early November.

However, since that disappointing showing, the Wearsiders have embarked on an unbeaten run which has seen them climb back towards the League One summit.

The game on Thursday evening features two of the most in-form sides in the division who both have visions of promotion back to the Championship come the end of the campaign.

Wednesday have not lost in their last 12 league matches, although seven of those have been draws. In addition, they are on an eight-game unbeaten run away from home and have only lost twice on the road this season.

Moore’s side sit just two points adrift from the play-off spots and have lost just three times all season. It promises to be a tasty top-half encounter on Wearside – what a way to end a dramatic 2021 in League One.



W W D L D W 

  • Sunderland have lost just one of their previous 10 Football League home games against Sheffield Wednesday (W6 D3) although that defeat did come in the most recent league encounter at the Stadium of Light (3-1 in April 2018).
  • Sunderland are without a win over the Owls in the previous four games against them, the last victory came in 2007 when the Black Cats ran out 4-2 winners.
  • Neither side have lost a League One match since the start of November when the Owls won 3-0 at the start of the month.


Carl Winchester has been deemed ’50/50′ for Thursday’s clash by manager Lee Johnson, after a training ground knock kept the Northern Ireland man out of Monday’s victory at Doncaster. Aiden O’Brien could be in contention to return to the squad after isolating with Covid-19.

Johnson has confirmed that Everton loanee Nathan Broadhead will be sidelined with a hamstring injury for a minimum of three months.

Ross Stewart will play upfront once again and is looking to score in consecutive matches for the first time since the opening two games of the campaign.

For Wednesday, Massimo Luongo is unavailable as he serves the second of a three-match suspension while the Owls’ extended break from action has allowed Chey Dunkley to return to fitness and he should be back in the matchday squad.

Callum Paterson is in contention to partner top-scorer Lee Gregory in attack for the second match running. Sam Hutchinson and Dennis Adeniran have been given extra time to recover from their respective injuries after the Owls’ 19 day break.


SAFC:                                                                                    SWFC:



Speaking ahead of the SoL showdown, Johnson set his sights on New Year’s success.

“It feels a little like a cup final now that the Fleetwood game is off. For us it marks that big final push before some downtime ahead of the Wycombe game, whereas Sheffield Wednesday have had a long build-up and it’s been their focus for eight to ten days.”

He continued:

“We are really looking forward to it and I know we are expecting a lot of fans – if it wasn’t for the understandable anxiety around COVID-19, we would have been expecting even more. I have a lot of respect for Wednesday because it is a huge club and like us, they will be disappointed to find themselves in League One and be fighting extremely hard to earn the privilege of getting out of it.”

He added:

“We enter 2022 in a good position and we are on the shoulders of the leaders, but we must continue to fight hard as the challengers if we hope to become champions.

“I truly believe that we have another gear in us and that we will get better.”

Pre-match thoughts? Score predictions?

Can Sunderland head into 2022 as league leaders? Will Stewart score in consecutive matches? Can Johnson’s side extend their unbeaten run?

Join in the conversation and have your say…


Newcastle United to Reveal New Shirt Sponsor?



Newcastle United Kit Idea - NUFC kits

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.

You can also download our FREE app –

Newcastle United Kit Idea - NUFC kits
Newcastle United Kit Idea - NUFC kits
Newcastle United Kit Idea - NUFC kits
NUFC Concept Kits Designs
NUFC Concept Kits Designs
Credit: NUFC kit concept – twitter


Follow us on YouTube for all local videos and to support us – North East Updates – YouTube


Continue Reading


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.

Newcastle face Manchester United in the Carabao Cup final on February 26 at Wembley.

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…

Continue Reading


Newcastle target rejects Everton move following £45m bid.



Newcastle united - St James Park

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.

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.

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?

Let us know on our Facebook page!

Continue Reading

Subscribe to our Newsletter