Sunderland v Walsall: what time is kick off, is it on tv and what are the odds?

Sunderland manager Jack Ross
Sunderland manager Jack Ross
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Sunderland host Walsall at the Stadium of Light hoping to stay within touching distance of the top two ahead of their 17-day league break.

Jack Ross’ side - with a game in-hand - stayed four points behind 2nd place Barnsley following Tuesday evening’s stalemate at Oakwell.

Pressure is on the Black Cats to sign off for the two-week break with a win against The Saddlers or risk falling heavily off the pace.

Due to a number of Sunderland’s squad being selected for international duty, the trip to Fleetwood was postponed before a Checkatrade Trophy final with Portsmouth awaits, a week later.

What time is kick off?

Kick off is at 3pm on Saturday March 16 at the Stadium of Light.

Is the match on tv? Can I watch it on a live stream?

The game will not be shown live on BT Sports or Sky Sports. However, you can follow the action via the Sunderland Echo live match day blog.

Where can you get updates from the match?

You’ll be able to follow all the latest updates and team news via the SAFC section on the Sunderland Echo website. Don't forget to tune into our live blog.

What’s the latest team news?

Sunderland defender Tom Flanagan and Reece James have return to training following their respective injuries.

Chris Maguire remains out while Duncan Watmore is set to miss the rest of the season after sustaining ankle ligament damage in last week’s feisty encounter at Wycombe Wanderers.

Cats captain George Honeyman will serve out the second of his three-match ban, however will return for the trip to Wembley as it is does not interfere with the Checkatrade Trophy.

Walsall are unlikely to make any changes from the side that narrowly lost to Portsmouth in midweek with Newcastle-born Andy Cook among the visitors’ biggest threats.

Who is the referee?

Alan Young - he is yet to referee a Sunderland game this season. His assistants will be Nicholas Cooper and Wayne Grunnill while Simon Clayton is the fourth official.

What is the form of Sunderland and Walsall?

Ross’ men are yet to taste defeat since the 3-1 defeat to Portsmouth in December, however too many draws has prevented them from jumping into the top two.

In the 15 games since then, the Black Cats have recorded nine draws and six wins in the mix of securing a Checkatrade Trophy final at Wembley with Portsmouth.

After beating Sunderland 1-0 in a FA Cup replay on December 11, Dean Keates’ went 12 games without tasting victory - slipping into a relegation battle.

They stand two points off the drop zone having gone three games unbeaten (W2 D1) before the home defeat to Pompey on Tuesday.

Sunderland (last six): DWWWDD

Walsall (last six): LLWDWL

What are the betting odds?

Sunderland are the outright favourites to earn three points 1/2. Walsall are priced at 5/1 to snatch a win while a 3/1 says it will be a draw.