Sunderland are finally back to business in Sky Bet League One this Saturday afternoon, as Phil Parkinson’s Lads travel south to face Swindon Town at the County Ground (3pm).
The Lads will be looking for three points and to maintain an unbeaten start to the league season, which has so far produced two wins and two draws – leaving us seventh in the table, albeit with a game in hand on each of the sides above.
Newly-promoted Swindon have endured a mixed bag of results this season, having won two and lost three of their opening league matches – most recently slipping to a 1-0 home defeat by AFC Wimbledon. An open and confident side going forward, Richie Wellens’ League Two champions will provide tricky opponents.
Remarkably this will be the two clubs’ first meeting of the 21st century, facing off competitively for the first time since goals from Niall Quinn and Kevin Phillips sealed a 2-0 Division One win for the Lads at the Stadium of Light in 1999.
Phil Parkinson is without a number of defensive players for Saturday’s trip, most notably Arbenit Xhemajli, who has sadly suffered a serious knee injury whilst on international duty with Kosovo which rules him out for the remainder of the season.
Morgan Feeney remains sidelined for the foreseeable future, whilst Tom Flanagan serves a one-match ban following his red card against Charlton Athletic in our last league outing.
Denver Hume has been ruled as doubtful by the manager after sustaining a jarred knee in training this week – the wing-back will be assessed more closely ahead of the clash at the County Ground.
On a more positive note, Will Grigg is now back available for selection after a clash of shins ruled him out of the EFL Trophy win over Carlisle United last week – the striker has had positive news back from an x-ray.
Swindon have been regarded as a courageous and open side going forward, contributing to their promotion as champions from League Two last season.
The Wiltshire side’s eight games in all competitions so far in 2020-21 have produced a total of 33 goals, with manager Wellens instilling an entertaining style of play at the County Ground.
Swindon have brought in reinforcements such as Arsenal youngster Matt Smith on loan, as well as experience in the shape of Brett Pitman, Jonathan Grounds and Joel Grant among others. Wellens has had to recover from the loss of Eoin Doyle, whose 25 goals in 36 league games were a monumental boost last term before his departure for Bolton Wanderers in the summer.
How to watch
To purchase a streaming pass for the Lads’ visit to Swindon Town this Saturday, simply click here and follow the instructions.