Sunderland are just 180 minutes away from a Wembley final as Manchester City U21s come to town this evening.
Both vying for a place in the last four of this season’s Checkatrade Trophy, the Black Cats welcome the Citizens to the Stadium of Light, kick-off 7:45pm.
The Black Cats have enjoyed a relatively straightforward route to the quarter-finals so far, seeing off Tyneside rivals Newcastle United under-21s in the previous round 4-0.
An own goal got the Lads on their way to victory on Wearside earlier this month before Charlie Wyke, Chris Maguire and Benji Kimpioka struck to add some gloss to the scoreline and overall display.
That win came after the Lads defeated Notts County in the round of 32 and finished top of group A, following wins over Sky Bet League Two side Morecambe and Carlisle United.
Having conceded just once in 90 minutes, Jack Ross’ side now have real aspirations to reach Wembley, with Manchester City’s second string standing in their way from a place in the semi-final.
City are into the last eight having seen off a host of Football League clubs - Shrewsbury Town, Crewe Alexander, Tranmere Rovers, Barnsley and Rochdale.
Coached by Paul Harsley, City’s youth have a wealth of talent at their exposal. However, it’s unclear yet as to what side the visitors are likely to field with the second-leg of their Carabao Cup tie at Burton Albion just 24 hours away also.
Ethan Robson will return to the first-team fold this evening. The midfielder has missed three months after limping off in the Lads’ 3-1 win over Carlisle United in October, but has battled his since way back to fitness. Denver Hume, meanwhile, is also back in training following a prolonged spell in the treatment room, after requiring surgery on a knee injury suffered in September.
KEEP UP TO DATE WITH THE ACTION
Cash turnstiles are available for supporters wishing to turn up and pay on the night at the Stadium of Light.
Turnstile numbers 29-32 in the Carling North Lower and 55-58 in the Roker End (South Stand) will be open from 6.30pm. Tickets are £10 for adults and £5 for supporters aged under 16 or over 65.
BBC Radio Newcastle’s Nick Barnes will be broadcasting live right here on safc.com from 7:30pm.
As ever, there will be comprehensive coverage across our digital channels including safc.com’s matchday blog and live updates on Twitter via @SunderlandAFC.