'We’re the best team in the league' - Bolton Wanderers manager makes bold claim as former Sunderland target is offered a second chance with Preston North End

Sunderland are in Papa John’s Trophy action tonight as Lee Johnson’s side welcome Manchester United U21’s to the Stadium of Light.

Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 4:44 pm

Johnson’s side will be hoping to make it back-to-back victories in the competition after victory over Lincoln City last week kick-started their defence of the trophy they won back in March.

Goals from Dan Neil and Stephen Wearne were enough to seal the win over the Imps with Johnson set to rely on a number of youth players once more in tonight’s tie.

The Black Cats will be hoping they can make it a double celebration after news broke earlier of midfielder Elliot Embleton’s new deal that will keep the 22-year-old on Wearside until 2025.

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The Bolton Wanderers manager has made a bold claim about his side (Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images)

The news of Embleton’s new contract has been met with applause by Sunderland supporters who took to social media to share their views online.

Here, though, we round-up some of the things you might have missed from the Stadium of Light and around League One ahead of tonight’s action.

‘We’re the best team in the league’

That’s the claim from Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt whose side take on rivals Wigan Athletic this weekend.

Evatt’s side are currently eighth in the League One table, one point outside the play-off places.

And ahead of a Lancashire derby with the Latics this weekend Evatt made a bold claim as reported by Wigan today. "I expect us to be number one,” he said. “I expect us to be first. I think we’re the best team in the league. People will say that’s arrogance, that’s overconfidence. But on performances I believe we’re the best team in the league. We should have won all those games.”

Evatt’s side impressed in their narrow defeat at the Stadium of Light in September and have won three out of their four games in all competitions since that defeat.

Sunderland target given second chance

Sunderland’s summer target Joe Rafferty has been handed a second opportunity at Preston North End.

The former Liverpool defender was on the Black Cats’ radar earlier this year and had been left out of North End’s Championship squad.

But following an injury to ex-Sunderland striker Connor Wickham, Rafferty has now been handed another opportunity at Deepdale.

The FA Cup to return

Sunderland will be among a number of big clubs to enter the next round of the FA Cup with the draw for the first round of the competition set to take place this weekend.

The Black Cats most famously lifted the trophy in 1973 but have failed to reach the third round since dropping into League One in 2018 where they enter the competition at the first round stage.

The draw for the first round takes place on Sunday, October 17 at 1.05pm and is being broadcast live on ITV.

Eighty teams will enter the draw as those non-league teams to have made it this far get the opportunity to pit their wits against league clubs.

The ties for the first round of the FA Cup are to take place over the weekend on November 6-7.

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