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22 January 2022 Venue Stadium of Light Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Sunderland v Pompey

All you need to know about League One contest

21 January 2022

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Sunderland v Pompey

Pompey’s longest trip of the season is, at least on paper, one of their most difficult.

Danny Cowley’s men make the mammoth trip up to the north-east to take on Sunderland on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

Their opponents are sitting third in the League One standings, with only goal difference currently keeping them out of the automatic promotion spots.

But they will be keen to see a return to winning ways, with the past three fixtures yielding just a couple of points.

The most recent outing for the Black Cats came last weekend, when they were held to a 1-1 draw at 10-man Accrington.

It is the fourth successive season that the Wearsider are competing at this level after suffering successive drops from the Premier League and Championship.

They finished fourth to reach the play-offs last term, only to then be beaten 3-2 over two legs by Lincoln.

The one consolation was a trip to Wembley – albeit an empty one – to beat Tranmere and lift the Papa John’s Trophy.

John Marquis’ brace and a Marcus Harness goal sealed a 3-1 victory when Pompey visited the Stadium of Light last season.

Lee Johnson’s men were also beaten at Fratton Park back in October, crumbling to a 4-0 defeat in sodden conditions.

TEAM NEWS
Pompey will check on the fitness of Reeco Hackett, who missed Tuesday’s trip to AFC Wimbledon with a foot injury.

But there are no new injury concerns, with Jayden Reid (knee) and Liam Vincent (shin) the only definite absentees.

Sunderland are missing Aiden McGeady (knee) and Luke O’Nien (shoulder), while Corry Evans, Alex Pritchard and Bailey Wright are all hoping to be passed fit.

The home side could hand debuts to Danny Batth and Patrick Roberts, who signed from Stoke and Manchester City respectively this week.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Read the thoughts of Danny Cowley and Louis Thompson ahead of the game.

HEAD TO HEAD
Overall
Pompey: 37 wins
Sunderland: 40 wins
35 draws

On the road
Pompey: 10 wins
Sunderland: 28 wins
17 draws

TICKETS
Pompey fans will not be able to pay on the day at the Stadium of Light, so please do not travel if you do not have a ticket.

Covid certification will need to be shown by anyone aged 18 or over. Click here for more details.

Please note that the Stadium of Light is a cashless stadium, with only contactless payment allowed inside the ground.

OFFICIALS
Referee: David Rock
Assistants: Hristo Karaivanov and Chris Isherwood
Fourth Official: Robert Madley

MATCH COVERAGE
Domestic iFollow subscribers can listen to live commentary from Andrew Moon and Guy Whittingham by signing into their account and visiting the match centre from around 2pm on Saturday.

Overseas subscribers and match pass holders can watch all the action live, with accompanying commentary.

Click here for more information about using iFollow on a matchday and click here for information on downloading the app, so you can access content on your mobile device.

We will have updates throughout the game on Twitter and the match centre. You can also see behind-the-scenes content on our Instagram story.

There will be post-match reaction on the website and our official YouTube channel, with highlights to follow on Sunday.

Local listeners can hear commentary by tuning in to either BBC Radio Solent or Express FM.

BETTING
Sunderland are the 77/100 favourites with VBET to secure all three points, while Pompey can be backed at 3/1.

Click here to find a comprehensive list of odds for this evening’s game. 18+. Please gamble responsibly.

We are committed to playing our part in ensuring our relationship with VBET is promoted in the right way to our supporters.

That is why VBET has partnered with BettorMind, to provide responsible gambling advice around key betting behaviours.

When it comes to betting, we advise all fans to make use of our dedicated responsible gambling site.

ALSO IN LEAGUE ONE
All games kick-off at 3pm

Burton v AFC Wimbledon
Cambridge v Crewe
Charlton v Fleetwood
Ipswich v Accrington
MK Dons v Doncaster
Morecambe v Wycombe
Oxford v Sheffield Wednesday
Plymouth v Lincoln
Rotherham v Cheltenham
Shrewsbury v Bolton
Wigan v Gillingham

LAST SEASON

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Match Reports

Sunderland 1 Pompey 0

Embleton goal proves enough for Black Cats on Wearside

22 January 2022

Ronan Curtis in action for Pompey at Sunderland
Photo: Daniel Chesterton

Pompey’s January blues continued as they slipped to a narrow League One defeat at high-flying Sunderland.

They dominated the first half, without really looking likely to break the deadlock and were caught by some sloppy defensive play.

Elliot Embleton took advantage to net the game’s only goal before the interval, with the Black Cats comfortably holding onto their lead.

Danny Cowley made three changes from the side that were held to a draw at AFC Wimbledon earlier in the week.

Skipper Clark Robertson returned for his first league start since mid-September, while there were also spots for Reeco Hackett and Ronan Curtis.

Connor Ogilvie dropped to the bench after missing training with a nose injury and was joined by Lee Brown and George Hirst.

It was a familiar tale for Pompey when the action started, as they dominated possession, but could not capitalise on that in the final third.

Tyler Walker saw an effort blocked inside the box, while a decent Hackett delivery was headed to safety.

The best opportunity came when Hackett’s corner was flicked on by Curtis, with Lynden Gooch having to hack clear before Walker could pounce.

But the Black Cats almost broke the deadlock with their first attack after a loose pass from Curtis was intercepted.

Embleton advanced forward and bent in a shot that was pushed clear by a diving Gavin Bazunu, with the keeper recovering to beat the same player to the loose ball.

Sean Raggett saw an angled attempt blocked, while a misunderstanding between Thorben Hoffmann and Danny Batth resulted in a Blues corner, but half-chances were the order of the day.

There was a let-off at the other end when Raggett was dispossessed by Leon Dajuku, who could not find the target from out wide.

But there was no reprieve on 40 minutes, as this time it was Hayden Carter who had the ball stolen from him.

Embleton played the role of pickpocket and he slotted past Bazunu to open the scoring following a neat one-two with Ross Stewart.

Pompey tried to hit back just before the break, but Marcus Harness could only hook Curtis’ cross over the bar.

Half Time: Sunderland 1 Pompey 0

The visitors did not enjoy as much control when the match restarted and were looking sloppy on the ball.

There was not too much happening at either end of the pitch, with Corry Evans and Dan Neil both firing wide for Sunderland.

Pompey started to find a bit more rhythm as the second half progressed, but Hoffmann was still having a quiet afternoon.

Cowley made a double switch on 71 minutes, as Curtis and Louis Thompson were replaced by Hirst and Shaun Williams.

However, the hosts were still finding it all too comfortable to keep their opponents at bay, as the Blues’ frustrations continued.

Robertson made way for Michael Jacobs as Cowley made an attacking last throw of the dice for the closing stages.

And the newcomer made an instant impact, bursting through the Black Cats back-line, only to be halted just before he could attempt to test Hoffmann.

Jacobs again found space to advance towards goal soon after, but his 20-yard effort flew straight at Hoffmann.

And he whipped in a teasing corner on 90 minutes, with a firm header from Hirst flying narrowly over the bar.

But that was as good as it got for the visitors, who had to make the long trip home on the back of a defeat.

Sunderland (3-4-1-2): Hoffmann; Flanagan, Batth, Doyle; Gooch, Evans (c), Neil, Cirkin; Embleton (Winchester 83); Dajaku (O’Brien 88), Stewart
Goals: Embleton 40
Booked: Flanagan
Subs not used: Patterson, Hume, Xhemajli, Diamond, Kimpioka

Pompey (3-4-1-2): Bazunu; Carter, Raggett, Robertson (c) (Jacobs 78); Romeo, Thompson (Williams 71), Morrell, Hackett; Harness; Walker, Curtis (Hirst 71)
Booked: Romeo, Williams
Subs not used: Steward, Freeman, Ogilvie, Brown

Referee: David Rock

Attendance: 32,220 (1,434 Pompey fans)

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