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Huge battle for Sunderland Under-23s in survival bid, as visitors look to boost title push

Sunderland U23s coach Elliott Dickman. Picture by Frank Reid
Sunderland U23s coach Elliott Dickman. Picture by Frank Reid

Relegation-threatened Sunderland Under-23s face a tough battle in their final home Premier League 2 game tomorrow.

Elliott Dickman’s side host title-chasing Leicester at the Stadium of Light (noon kick-off).

The Black Cats need points to boost their chances of survival – they slipped to bottom spot last night.

Two clubs go down, with Sunderland bottom on 19 points from 20 games. Manchester United moved above them on goal difference thanks to last night’s 1-1 draw at Manchester City, but they now have just one game left.

Derby are third-bottom (21 points from 20) and the only other side who could go down, as Tottenham ensured their safety by winning 2-1 at Chelsea last night.

Sunderland Under-23s coach Elliott Dickman said: “The message is to reach the levels we did against Everton in our last home match.

“We cannot lose the game.

“We have got to make sure we are competitive. There is that edge to their game in training, but we need to see that in matches.

“They didn’t do that at Old Trafford last week, but that’s young players and that’s the biggest hurdle in their development.

“We have performed very well in the two games against Leicester already this season.

“We have played them in the league and the International Cup and we have done quite well.”

Leicester are three points behind Arsenal, who ended Swansea’s title challenge with a 1-0 win last night, but the Foxes will regain top spot on goal difference if they can beat Sunderland.

Charlie Gilmour’s strike proved decisive for the Gunners against fourth-top Swansea at the Emirates Stadium. Swansea would have gone top with a win, but their title challenge is now over

Admission to tomorrow’s Stadium of Light showdown is £3 (adults) and £1 (over-65s and under-16s), with current season card holders admitted free, on production of their card.