The story of the day as Will Grigg catches the eye in Sunderland's pre-season triumph at Gateshead

After almost six months without a game, Sunderland are back – and we’ll bring you every kick from the friendly with Gateshead.

Saturday, 22nd August 2020, 5:35 pm

Phil Smith and Mark Donnelly are both at the International Stadium this afternoon as the Black Cats return to action, and will bring you all the latest action, reaction, analysis and more from the pre-season friendly.

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The story of the day as Sunderland kick-off pre-season with a win at Gateshead
Live match updates, reaction, analysis and more from Gateshead v Sunderland AFC

LIVE: Gateshead 1-3 Sunderland AFC (Preston 25; Maguire 18, Grigg 70, Scowen 74)

Last updated: Saturday, 22 August, 2020, 14:40

  • Sunderland travel to Gateshead in their first pre-season friendly of the summer.
  • The Black Cats are set to take a strong side to the International Stadium.
  • Kick-off is at 3pm - and we’ll have live updates, analysis, reaction and more throughout the day, with Phil Smith and Mark Donnelly in position.

And welcome to our live blog as Sunderland face Gateshead!

(you have no idea how nice it is to type that after almost six months without a game!)

The long wait is over, and after not playing since March 10 the Black Cats will finally take to the field once more as they travel to the International Stadium in their first pre-season friendly.

I’m Mark Donnelly and I’ll be bringing you live updates and analysis from the game, with myself and Phil Smith both in attendance this afternoon.

So stick with us as we bring you the latest…

Live streaming details

Gateshead will be live streaming today’s pre-season friendly, with passes priced at £5.

You can find out more HERE, where you can also sign-up for a streaming pass.

The early team news from the Sunderland camp

Sunderland will take a strong squad to Gateshead, with the full compliment of first-team players set to descend on the International Stadium.

Only Remi Matthews is set to miss out, meaning Phil Parkinson could give the vast majority of his squad opportunities to impress.

That could mean debuts for Morgan Feeney and Aiden O’Brien.

How are the hosts shaping-up?

Sunderland face a Gateshead side who only finished their National League North season in July - and remain match fit.

Mike Williamson’s side drew 1-1 with Carlisle United in midweek thanks to a goal from a triallist, who is likely to be involved today.

Gateshead drew with Carlisle United in midweek

The latest transfer talk

Before kick-off, let’s have a look at the latest rumours doing the rounds…

  • Brighton defender Haydon Roberts is reportedly on Sunderland’s radar, but is also attracting interest from AFC Wimbledon and Blackpool
  • Meanwhile, it has also been claimed that Bristol City midfielder Sammie Szmodics is a player being considered by Phil Parkinson.

Some interesting pre-match reading from David Jones - who discusses Sunderland’s academy challenges

Aiden O’Brien looks ahead to today’s game...

I’m looking forward to getting out there with the lads for the first time and hopefully we can take what we’ve done in training into the game. It will be good to work on things in a proper game, it’s been a long time coming.

Aiden O'Brien

The pre-match thoughts of Phil Parkinson...

On the game…

It's good to get back out there again. I feel pre-season has progressed well up to this point and we're looking forward to playing this game. We've had a few in-house games - 60 minutes on Tuesday and 45 minutes on the Saturday - and we're ready. 

On Remi Matthews missing out…

He's literally just done some training on his own. When you bring players in, they have to go through the coronavirus test and that takes a while to come back. 

On his plans for the game…

We're looking to play 60 minutes and 30 minutes and flip those teams around. I'll mix the teams up in terms of quality, and put a few of the youngsters in with some of the senior players which I think is important. It's important we have a good look at them in this period.

Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson

Some pre-match nostalgia for you!

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