U23 Preview: Reading visit Eppleton

Sunderland Under-23s return to Eppleton on Monday night as Premier League 2 football returns to the fore for Mike Dodds and Michael Proctor’s side.


Reading are the visitors to DH5 for the evening’s contest (KO 7pm) following the decision that the playing surface is playable, following Sunday’s postponement of SAFC Ladies’ meeting with Crystal Palace Women due to a frozen pitch.


Having completed an excellent comeback to draw 3-3 with Leeds United last Wednesday, the young Lads will now look to go one better with victory over the Royals.


Ethan Kachosa, Caden Kelly and Cieran Dunne were all on the scoresheet on the night with Kachosa and Kelly in contention to play again here, but Dunne will be sidelined after a positive Covid-19 test following the Leeds draw.


Reading make the long journey north having been beaten 5-0 in their last outing, a Premier League Cup group match with Charlton Athletic. They were not to fare much better in their last league contest in which they lost 5-2 to Norwich City, but did beat Middlesbrough 2-1 days prior. The Berkshire side sit two points and a place below the Black Cats in the PL2 Division 2 table.


The last meeting between the two sides resulted in a convincing 3-0 win for the Lads at the Select Car Leasing Stadium in November – Benji Kimpioka on fire on the night, netting a hat-trick. Kimpioka is also expected to be absent tonight following a bout of Covid-19 – youngsters such as Nicky Gyimah and Zak Johnson could subsequently earn starting places.


Jacob Carney may start in goal after being named among Lee Johnson’s substitutes at Wycombe on Saturday, though could be saved for back-up in Tuesday’s game with Lincoln. Jack McIntyre would be in line to deputise – Ollie Younger, Ellis Taylor and Arbenit Xhemajli, also in the squad on Saturday, could feature.


Tickets are still available on the gate for Monday night’s fixture, with card payments ONLY accepted at the turnstiles.


Social media coverage will be provided via the club’s official Twitter account, @SunderlandAFC

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