Sunderland will put their unbeaten start in 2019 on the line this weekend when they head to Scunthorpe United.
Looking to keep the heat on the Sky Bet League One leaders – Portsmouth and Luton Town – Jack Ross’ side know three points are essential this Saturday.
Following successive draws, both against promotion rivals Charlton Athletic and Luton Town, the Black Cats will be targeting a return to winning ways against a side they dispatched 3-0 at the Stadium of Light back in August.
That day, Max Power marked his home league debut with a speculative header before Josh Maja and Chris Maguire turned on the burners to give Sunderland a comfortable advantage at the break.
However, frustration has been rife in recent weeks as the Black Cats have failed to score more than once in their previous six league matches - dropping points against Shrewsbury Town, Charlton Athletic and Luton Town – despite continuing their incredible record of scoring in every league match this season.
Standing at 34 league games, – dating back to March 2018 - Sunderland remain the only team in England to have struck in every league match this season.
Meanwhile, over at Scunthorpe, they are on an upwards curve going into Saturday’s meeting at Glanford Park.
Having won their previous four matches, the Iron’s have moved up to 15th after enduring a wretched run previously which saw them lose seven on the trot in all competitions.
Lee Cattermole is available once more after serving his two-game suspension. Leading scorer Josh Maja will also be in contention after missing last Saturday’s top of the table clash with Luton Town through illness.
Stuart McCall has also received a boost this week on the injury front as his side have a clean bill of health, with Matthew Lund coming through last week’s game unscathed.
DON’T MISS A KICK
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.