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Match Previews

Preview: Sunderland (H)

18 January 2019

The Iron will be looking to continue their fine form of late, as they look to make it five consecutive wins in Sky Bet League One when they face high-flying Sunderland at Glanford Park on Saturday 19th January (3pm kick-off).

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19 January 2019

Stuart McCall’s side enter the game having netted seven goals in their previous four matches, and they will be hoping they can continue in the same vein this weekend. 

Lee Novak has three goals in his last three games, and he will be looking to boost his current form, fresh from netting the winner in the 2-1 victory over Walsall at the Banks’s Stadium last Saturday, after Funso Ojo opened the scoring with his first league goal of the season. 

Meanwhile, Sunderland are on a decent run themselves, as they sit third in the Sky Bet League One table and are unbeaten in their last six matches in all competitions. They drew 1-1 at home to Luton Town in their previous fixture.  


United boss Stuart McCall reported no fresh injury worries ahead of the game.

Josh Morris faces a few weeks out with a fractured fibula and strained ankle ligaments. Elsewhere, Jordan Clarke is out for four months (knee), while Ryan Colclough (knee) is out for the remainder of the season.


There have been very few meetings between the two sides of late, with the only league encounter in the past 50 years taking place in the reverse fixture at the Stadium of Light earlier in the season, when the Black Cats won 3-0. 

However, back in 2017, the two teams did draw each other in the group stages of the Football League Trophy, where the Iron came out victorious in a 3-1 win. Kevin van Veen, Duane Holmes and Josh Morris all scored on that occasion, and the Iron will be hoping for a repeat of that scoreline on Saturday afternoon.  


Striker Josh Maja has a fine goalscoring record for Sunderland this season, and is currently the Black Cats’ top scorer with 14 goals, which doubles the amount scored by any other Sunderland player so far in the 2018-19 campaign. 

The young forward is only 20 years of age, and is already proving to be quite a handful in League One, sitting second in the goalscoring charts, only two goals behind John Marquis of Doncaster in the race for the golden boot.  

Maja rose through the ranks at the Black Cats’ academy after joining up with the youth team from Fulham. In 2016, he signed his first ever professional contract and later that year, he went on to make his debut for Sunderland as a substitute in a 2-1 win over Queen’s Park Rangers in the EFL Cup.

Ever since, the youngster has made a name for himself as a prominent figure in the starting eleven under Jack Ross and is one of the first names on the manager’s teamsheet.  


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