The story of the day as Sunderland held by Northampton Town to tee-up Lincoln City play-off tie
Sunderland welcome Northampton Town in their final game of the regular League One season – looking to enter the play-offs with momentum behind them.
The Black Cats have already secured their spot in the top six and are guaranteed to finish in at least fifth, but could climb up to third should results go their way today.
And with a shot at promotion to the Championship ahead, boss Lee Johnson is keen to rack-up another positive result after last week’s encouraging showing at Plymouth Argyle.
Sunderland could welcome back Aiden McGeady and Charlie Wyke with Johnson set to make big calls on the duo after they missed out last weekend. The likes of Tom Flanagan, Conor McLaughlin and Jake Vokins may also play some part.
Our team of writers will be in place at the Stadium of Light to bring you all the team news, match updates, analysis and reaction from today’s game.
FT: Sunderland AFC 1-1 Northampton Town (Winchester 87; Hoskins 84)
Last updated: Sunday, 09 May, 2021, 12:01
- Sunderland welcome Northampton Town to the Stadium of Light in their final game of the regular League One season (12pm kick-off)
- The Black Cats are guaranteed a top five finish and will today discover their play-off opponents
- Lee Johnson could welcome back Aiden McGeady and Charlie Wyke
- SAFC XI: Burge; McLaughlin, Wright, O’Nien, Hume; Power, Scowen; Diamond, Jones, Gooch; Wyke
The view from Northampton Town ahead of today’s game
Here’s what manager Jon Brady said ahead of the trip to the Stadium of Light:
It’s really important for us to show as a football club what we are about and we’ve got plenty of fight in us,” he said.
Our focus right now is on Sunday but after that it’s all about the club moving forward.
It’s important we go out and perform to the best of our ability, Sunderland have had a good season and obviously we’ve been relegated but we need to go there and be competitive.
Team news is coming up shortly...
The team sheets have just been exchanged pitchside and we’ll learn soon what team Lee Johnson has named.
Remi Matthews and Anthony Patterson have just headed out to warm-up, so it looks likely that Lee Burge will be starting given the starting goalkeeper usually enters the field last.
BREAKING: THE TEAM NEWS IS IN!
And here’s how Sunderland line-up: Burge; McLaughlin, Wright, O’Nien, Hume; Power, Scowen; Diamond, Jones, Gooch; Wyke
And on the bench: Matthews, Maguire, O’Brien, Leadbitter, McFadzean, Winchester, McGeady
So that’s just one change from the side that beat Plymouth Argyle last weekend, as Charlie Wyke comes in for Ross Stewart.
Stewart misses out entirely, but hopefully that’s nothing too serious. The last thing Sunderland need is another injury concern!
Aiden McGeady is on the bench having returned to the squad.
Here’s the full teamsheet from the Stadium of Light
Northampton have injury worries too - with some key defenders missing.
The fan favourite is watching on today!
He’s been joined in the stands by Tom Flanagan and Jake Vokins, too.
BREAKING: Karl Robinson handed touchline ban after ‘tunnel gate'
Oxford United manager Karl Robinson has been handed a four-match ban for his involvement in the Good Friday incidents at Sunderland.
Robinson had a personal hearing with the FA earlier this week and has now been handed a touchline ban.
Not long to go now!
And the two teams have returned to their changing room aheads of kick-off.
While there may be little play for, it’s still a big game for Sunderland as they look to enter the play-offs with momentum at their backs - so stick with us for updates!
Here. We. Go!
The teams are out and we’re just moments away from kick-off now.
Max Power leads Sunderland out the tunnel, as Northampton enter the field via the steps from the concourse which has now become a makeshift second tunnel.
Up in the stands, Kyril Louis-Dreyfus has just taken a seat in the Directors’ Box for the first time. He’s been watching games from elsewhere previously.
1 - Aaaaand we’re off!
Lynden Gooch gets the ball rolling!