The disappointing story of the day as Sunderland suffer a third straight defeat after losing at Blackpool
Sunderland travel to Blackpool this afternoon looking to get their promotion push back on track.
The Black Cats have lost their last two League One outings meaning their hopes of a top two finish are now out of their hands, with the side reliant on a slip-up from Peterborough United or Hull City.
But a win at Blackpool could give the side the confidence to push on in the final weeks of the campaign, with six games left to play.
Lee Johnson will, however, be without a number of key defenders for the trip to Bloomfield Road – where Sunderland will face a Pool side who have gone 15 games unbeaten and themselves are eyeing a play-off place.
It promises to be an intriguing afternoon and is a game that could have a big bearing on Sunderland’s promotion hopes.
Our team will be bringing you updates, analysis and more from the big game throughout the day.
FT: Blackpool 1-0 Sunderland AFC (Simms 59)
Last updated: Saturday, 17 April, 2021, 12:11
- Sunderland travel to Blackpool looking to bounce back from two straight defeats in League One (12:30pm kick-off).
- Defeats to Charlton and Wigan have dented the Black Cats’ automatic promotion hopes.
- Lee Johnson has only one natural centre back available for the game at Bloomfield Road.
- SAFC XI: Burge; Power, Wright, O’Nien, McFadzean; Jones, McGeady, Leadbitter, Scowen; Wyke, O’Brien
And welcome to our live blog!
Sunderland are on the road again, looking to get back to winning ways after two disappointing defeats in their last two outings.
But in Blackpool they will face a side full of confidence having embarked upoin a 15-game unbeaten run, and who themselves want to secure a play-off position.
It’s sure to be an intriguing game, and we’ll be bringing you the latest from Bloomfield Road throughout the day.
So let’s get cracking, shall we...
Here’s the games taking place in League One today...
Sunderland will be hoping for a Hull City slip-up but, no matter the results at Bloomfield Road or elsewhere, the Black Cats will end the day still sat in third.
Here’s the rest of the League One games happening today:
- Bristol Rovers v Lincoln City (12:30pm)
- Burton Albion v Plymouth Argyle (12:30pm)
- Charlton Athletic v Ipswich Town (12:30pm)
- Hull City v Fleetwood Town (12:30pm)
- MK Dons v Portsmouth (12:30pm)
- Rochdale v Accrington Stanley (12:30pm)
- Shrewsbury Town v Doncaster Rovers (12:30pm)
- Wigan Athletic v Crewe Alexandra (12:30pm)
- AFC Wimbledon v Swindon Town (5:30pm)
- Oxford United v Gillingham (5:30pm)
We got the inside track on Sunderland’s latest opponents
Here’s what Matt Scrafton, who covers Blackpool for The Gazette, makes of their recent form and today’s clash:
The inside track on in-form Blackpool and the key threats that may worry Sunderland in crucial League One clash
In-form Blackpool are the next test in front of Sunderland – as they aim to bounce back from consecutive defeats.
Can Elliot Embleton play for Blackpool against Sunderland?
No - as per the terms of his loan, Embleton can’t be invovled against his parent club this afternoon.
That’s a boost for Sunderland, with the academy graduate hitting some form at Bloomfield Road in recent weeks.
Forward set to return to Sunderland squad at Blackpool
Lee Johnson has confirmed that Chris Maguire will travel with the Sunderland squad to Blackpool.
Maguire hasn’t been involved in the last two match day squads, but will travel to the North West.
I think Chris can still play a big part this season. When you get some of your squad back fit, one or two can end up being spare players, which is hugely frustrating for anyone - especially experienced players.
We’ve been open and honest with him from the very start and with professional pride, that’s not always easy to hear. But that honesty is always important.
He’s in the travelling squad tomorrow - we have 19 with us - and he can bring personality as well as performance.
What are the odds for Blackpool v Sunderland?
Here’s the latest odds, courtesy of League One title sponsors Sky Bet:
Blackpool win - 6/4
Draw - 11/5
Sunderland win - 17/10
Charlie Wyke - 10/3
Jerry Yates - 7/2
Ellis Simms - 11/2
Chris Maguire - 13/2
Brad Holmes - 13/2
Lynden Gooch - 13/2
Sullay Kaikai - 13/2
Ross Stewart - 13/2
The view from the Blackpool camp
Blackpool boss Neil Critchley is wary of the threat posed by Sunderland, especially after their back-to-back defeats.
Speaking to The Gazette, he said:
Good teams don’t often lose twice on the bounce, but they are a good team. You only have to look at the strength of their depth, it is arguably the strongest in the division when you look at who they’ve got on the bench. It’s what you class as an automatic promotion team.
To lose two on the bounce, they won’t want to make it a hat-trick but maybe there is a little bit of pressure on them as well.
We can look forward to a really good game on Saturday and we can go for it.
The latest team news from Sunderland and Blackpool...
Here’s how both sides are shaping-up ahead of the game:
Lee Johnson has seen his defensive options severely depleted, with Bailey Wright the only recognsied, senior centre back available.
Dion Sanderson will miss out with a back problem while Conor McLaughlin has undergone a hernia operation.
Tom Flanagan, Jordan Willis and Arbenit Xhemajli are also absent - while the game will come too soon for Jake Vokins.
Oliver Younger is likely to return to the squad given the defensive injury crisis - and could even be handed a second start for the club.
Chris Maguire will also travel with the team after missing out on the last two match day squads.
The Seasiders won’t be able to call upon on-loan Sunderland midfielder Elliot Embleton, who is ineligible.
Kevin Stewart (ankle), Matty Virtue (ACL), Keshi Anderson (hamstring), CJ Hamilton (metatarsal) and Gary Madine (groin) all remain sidelined through injury, while Bez Lubala is unavailable due to a ‘club matter’.
Is there a live stream for Blackpool v Sunderland?
Yes, Sunderland’s trip to Blackpool will be available to stream.
Streaming passes can be purchased from the club’s official webisite - SAFC.com - priced at £10.
The Sunderland squad have arrived!
BREAKING: THE TEAM NEWS IS IN!
And here’s how Sunderland line-up today: Burge; Power, Wright, O’Nien, McFadzean; Jones, McGeady, Leadbitter, Scowen; Wyke, O’Brien
And on the bench: Matthews, Maguire, Gooch, Diamond, Winchester, Stewart, Hume
That’s three changes from midweek as Leadbiter, McFadzean and O’Brien come in for Sanderson, Diamond and Hume.
It looks like a 4-4-2 for the Black Cats with Wyke and O’Brien up top, with McGeady and Jones out wide.
Chris Maguire, meanwhile, is back in the squad and takes a place on the bench.
Blackpool make two changes for today’s game
And they include handing a start for former Sunderland trialist Demetri Mitchell.
Here’s what fans make of today’s team news...
Lee Johnson has named his Sunderland side to face Blackpool – and fans have been quick to react.
Sunderland are out to warm-up
The Black Cats are in their blue away shirt today and - has been the case at a few grounds this season - look to be using a makeshift changing room.
Indeed, they’re accessing the pitch via the concourse, but that’s been the case at a few grounds this season.
Oliver Younger is part of the warm-up, but isn’t in the squad today.