Exactly what happened and who impressed as Sunderland U23s beaten on penalties by Crystal Palace
Sunderland under-23s are potentially just ninety minutes away from promotion - as they head to Crystal Palace in the Premier League 2 Division 2 play-off final.
The Black Cats beat Stoke City in their semi-final tie last week to set-up a clash against the Eagles at Selhurst Park.
And the two sides will lock horns this evening looking to claim promotion to the top tier of Premier League 2 – joining the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool.
Elliott Dickman will once again be able to call upon the likes of Josh Hakwes, Oliver Younger and Dan Neil for the clash, and Sunderland will no doubt be buoyed by the fact they defeated Palace earlier this season.
So can they repeat the trick on the big stage?
Mark Donnelly will be at the game for the Echo, providing live updates and analysis from the big under-23 promotion showdown:
FT: Crystal Palace 0-0 Sunderland U23s (Crystal Palace win 5-3 on penalties)
Last updated: Monday, 24 May, 2021, 19:08
- Sunderland’s under-23 side face Crystal Palace in the Premier League 2 Division 2 play-off final this evening
- The Black Cats will gain promotion if they can claim victory at Selhurst Park (7pm)
- Elliott Dickman could call upon a similar side to that which beat Stoke City last week.
And welcome to our live blog!
It’s a big ol’ night for Sunderland’s under-23 side as they face a make-or-break promotion play-off in the capital.
Crystal Palace are the side standing in the Black Cats’ way, with the winners gaining promotion to Premier League 2 Division 1.
Mark Donnelly will be at Selhurst Park for the Echo - and will be bringing you live updates throughout the evening...
Why is tonight’s game at Selhurst Park?
Some people have asked why tonight’s game is taking place at Selhurst Park rather than a neutral venue.
Well there’s a simple answer - the Premier League 2 rules say that the play-off final will be played at the main stadium of the participating club who finished higher during the regular season.
That’s Palace, hence why the game is in the capital!
A rule refresher!
There are some important rules to remember ahead of tonight’s game...
- Both teams can name a goalkeeper aged over 23, plus three ‘over age’ outfield players.
- Trialists can be involved.
- Teams will be able to make three substitutes from five.
- If the scores are level at the end of 90 minutes then the game will go to extra time and penalties if required.
Who could be involved for Sunderland U23s tonight?
Elliott Dickman is expected to call upon a similar side to that which beat Stoke City last weekend.
That means the likes of Anthony Patterson, Oliver Younger, Dan Neil and Josh Hawkes could also be involved.
Trialist Tyrese Dyce also played at the bet365 Stadium last week and may be involved again - although he did leave the fray with a late injury on Monday night.
Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Patterson; Richardson, Almond, Younger, Dyce; Hackett, Wilding; Wearne, Hawkes, Neil; Harris
Our team are in place at Selhurst Park!
BREAKING: THE TEAM NEWS IS IN!
And here’s how Sunderland’s under-23 side line-up: Patterson; B Taylor, K Richardson, Younger, Almond; Wilding, Hackett; Hawkes, Neil, Dunne; Harris
And on the bench: A Richardson, Trialist (Kachosa), Wombwell, Trialist (Scott), E Taylor
That’s two changes from last week as Brandon Taylor and Cieran Dunne come in for Stephen Wearne and Tyrese Dyce.
Trialists Ethan Kachosa and Tom Scott are once again on the bench.
And here’s how the hosts Crystal Palace line-up this evening...
The two teams are out to warm-up at Selhurst Park
And after torrential downpour a few minutes ago, the sun is starting to appear!
Palace are welcomed onto the field by their home fans - a few thousand fans will be in attendance this evening.
Plenty of representatives from Sunderland watching on tonight!
Not long to go now!
And Sunderland are going through the final stages of their warm-up.
By the looks of the defensive drills, Brandon Taylor will be starting at right-back with Kenton Richardson on the left-hand side.
The two teams are back down the tunnel...
And kick-off is just a few moments away here.
Stick with us for live updates throughout the big game!
Here we go!
The two teams are out at Selhurst Park - Sunderland greeted with boss, while Palace enter to a large roar from the home faithful, who have gathered in fair numbers this evening.
It will once again be Michael Proctor and Stuart English in the dugout for Sunderland tonight, although Elliott Dickman is in the stands.
1 - Aaaaaaand we’re off!
Sunderland get us started!
3 - Palace have begun brightly
Roared on by a very vocal home crowd, it’s Palace who have started on the front foot here.
They’ve had two early corners, the first of which Sunderland could only put behind before Anthony Patterson rose well to claim the second.
8 - A better spell from Sunderland
The Black Cats have seen plenty more of the ball in the last few minutes but are yet to really make any inroads.
Palace are content to sit back and let the visitors knock it around the back four - and it’s noticeable how quickly Palace are closing down Josh Hawkes any time he gets a sniff.
Still goalless here.