Sunderland return to Sky Bet League One action this weekend when they travel to Accrington Stanley for the first time in over 100 years.
Taking on Stanley at the Wham Stadium, kick-off 3pm, Saturday’s meeting is a complete sell out, with the hosts expecting their biggest ever attendance.
Over 5,000 fans are set to cram into their ground, with more than 2,600 of them set to be our travelling fans.
As for the match itself, Jack Ross’ side head to Lancashire looking to extend their unbeaten run to 17.
A character-fuelled draw at the Bescot in their last league away match, highlighted the togetherness within the group as the 10-men of Sunderland roared back from two behind to snatch a point right at the death.
A second successive draw in the West Midlands then followed a week later after a resounding 4-2 win over Barnsley. However, the draw at Walsall had a little less adrenaline rush at the end as the stalemate meant a second round Emirates FA Cup replay at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday 11 December.
The Lads did, however, return to winning ways in midweek as they saw off Notts County in Sky Bet League Two to book their place in the last 32 of this season’s Checkatrade Trophy.
As for Accrington, they’re enjoying a fine season in the third tier following promotion from League Two last season.
Despite suffering three straight league defeats, boss John Coleman has done a fine job this season as Stanley lost just two of their opening 14 league matches.
While their form has tailed off slightly in recent weeks, following a run of six league games without a win, Stanley remain 11th as they look to preserve their league status this season.
Ross hopes to have Chris Maguire available for selection this weekend, after the forward last featured for the Lads in their 4-2 win over Barnsley at the Stadium of Light.
Lee Cattermole has also resumed training, but the midfielder isn’t expected to feature at the Wham Stadium and is likely to make his return a few days later in the Black Cats’ Emirates FA Cup replay against Walsall.
Meanwhile, Coleman has a full bill of health with Andy Mangan and Harvey Rodgers back after injuries.
Saturday’s meeting will be the first match between the two sides since January 1894. The Black Cats have won their last six games against Stanley, with Saturday’s hosts winning just one of the eight previous encounters.
DON’T MISS THE ACTION
Tickets for the game are SOLD OUT!
SAFSee passes are available now for overseas and UK-based supporters.
BBC Radio Newcastle’s Nick Barnes will be broadcasting live right here on safc.com from 2pm.
As ever, there will be comprehensive coverage across our digital channels including safc.com’s matchday blog and live updates on Twitter via @SunderlandAFC.