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🗞 Match Preview: Sunderland (H)

Take an in-depth look at Saturday’s opponents as Bristol City prepare to host Sunderland in the first home fixture of the 2022/23 Sky Bet Championship season (3pm).

Ashton Gate is approaching a sell-out at over 25,000 fans are expected to make their way through the turnstiles at Ashton Gate on Saturday afternoon as the Robins face the Black Cats for the first time in four seasons.

Despite a positive performance on the opening weekend of the season away to Hull City, the Robins were on the wrong side of the result as they fell to a late 2-1 defeat on Humberside.

However, Andi Weimann did resume his imperious goalscoring form at the MKM Stadium with an instinctive finish to kickstart his 2022/23 campaign.

The newly promoted Black Cats travel to the West Country in search of three points after an opening 1-1 draw at home to Coventry City. The Robins boss expects a tough battle against the Wearsiders, who possess the ability to punish teams on the transition.

Pearson said: “It’ll be a very tough game. They opened their account pretty well at home with a big crowd, very much behind their team and they’ll be disappointed to concede late on in the game. They’re a team that’ll attack on transitions and we’ve got to be aware of that.”


🔎 OPPONENTS IN FOCUS:

After a four-year hiatus that saw Black Cats experience some of their darkest days, Sunderland have finally returned to the second tier of English football. Many supporters will view it as a steppingstone in their bid to return to the big time once again, however that may prove to be an extremely tough task.

Following a lengthy period of freefall, the Wearsiders and have found stability and with it, they have turned around their fortunes on the pitch and are seemingly on an upwards trajectory. They began the 2021/22 season as League One favourites but it would be the play-off route they would take to return to the Sky Bet Championship.

Sunderland boast an experienced Championship manager in Alex Neil who has tasted success. The 41-year-old previously guided Norwich to the top-flight via the Championship play-offs as well as having three solid seasons at Deepdale with Preston North End, in which they finished seventh, 14th and ninth respectively.

Dan Neil in action versus Coventry City (Sunderland AFC)

Defensively the Black Cats have been bolstered with the addition of Daniel Ballard, not to mention the retention of former City centre-back Bailey Wright. Midfield could also be viewed as an area of strength for Neil’s side with the addition of Patrick Roberts (Manchester City) and Jack Clarke (Tottenham Hotspur) on a permanent basis.

Prior to the opening weekend of the season the Wearsiders strengthened their attacking options with the signing of Ellis Simms on loan from Premier League side Everton.

Saturday’s visitors to BS3 began life in the Championship with a 1-1 draw at home to Coventry City. Jack Clarke bagged the opener just 12 minutes into the game but a fine strike from the Sky Blues’ Viktor Gyokeres ensured the points were shared at the Stadium of Light.


🐈‍⬛ SUNDERLAND PROFILE:

Formed: 1979
Stadium: The Stadium of Light
Nickname: The Black Cats
Manager: Alex Neil
Finish last season: 5th (League One – Promoted via Play-offs)

Honours:

  • First Division: Winners: 1891/92, 1892/93, 1894/95, 1901/02, 1912/13, 1935/36
  • Second Division/First Division/Championship: Winners” 1975/76, 1995/96, 1998/99, 2004/05, 2006/07
  • Third Division/Second Division/League One: Winners: 1987/88
  • FA Cup: Winners: 1936/37, 1972/73
  • EFL Trophy: Winners: 2020/21
  • FA Charity Shield: Winners: 1936
  • Sheriff of London Charity Shield: 1903

ℹ️ MATCH DETAILS:

Where: Ashton Gate
When: Saturday, August 6th (3pm)
Competition: Sky Bet Championship

Referee: Keith Stroud
Assistant Referee: Graham Kane
Assistant Referee: George Byrne
Fourth Official: Gavin Ward


👀 ONE TO WATCH:

ELLIS SIMMS

The 21-year-old striker ventured to the North East on a season-long loan from Everton.

Simms spent the second half of last season on loan in the Scottish Premier with Heart of Midlothian, netting seven goals in 21 appearances.

Last season’s loan-spell was his second away from Goodison Park, with the first coming during the 2020-21 season when he scored 10 goals to help fire Blackpool to promotion.

Prior to his move to Goodison, the marksman spent time within the Blackburn Rovers and Manchester City academies.

During the 2017/18 season he bagged a whopping 37 goals in 29 games at Under-18 level, before shining at Under-23s level once again as he scored nine goals in 19 outings. Simms’ form would also see him lead the line for Everton’s first team in the Premier League against Chelsea in December 2021.

 

⏮ MATCH REWIND:

Result: Sunderland 1-2 Bristol City
When: 28.11.2017
Competition: Sky Bet Championship

Milan Djuric’s second goal of the season ensured a 2-1 win for Bristol City against a struggling Sunderland side.

The Robins were back at the Stadium of Light for the first time in 18 years, where their hosts have not won a game since December 2016.

Bobby Reid headed Lee Johnson’s side ahead before Lewis Grabban scrambled an equaliser just before half time. Djuric, making only his second appearance of the season, then nodded in the winner in the cold and windy North East.


🆚 HEAD-TO-HEAD:

Bristol City

Matches vs the opposition:
Won: 17
Drew: 14
Lost: 15

League Position (2021/22): 18th
Top goalscorer (2021/22): Andi Weimann (22)
Top assist (2021/22): Antoine Semenyo (12)

Sunderland:

Matches vs the opposition:
Won: 15
Drew: 14
Lost: 17

League Position (2021/22): 5th (League One – Promoted via Play-offs)
Top goalscorer (2021/22): Ross Stewart (26)
Top assist (2021/22): Alex Pritchard (12)


🎟 TICKETS:

Mates rates tickets are available to Season Ticket holders who can bring two friends for £12.50 each, with tickets available in all home areas of the stadium.

There is also a Members discount available where Members can claim a £15 ticket, available in the South Stand, Family Area and Dolman Wings.

Adult prices have been reduced in the Family Area to £25 for Gold category games in line with our commitment to families and young supporters, while Under-12 prices range from just £10.

Supporters can also take advantage of Adult tickets from £25 in E34 of the Dolman Stand.

SECURE YOUR SEAT


📺 STREAMING: 

Professional Development Phase Coach Micky Bell will be the Robins TV guest commentator for City's Sky Bet Championship match against Sunderland which is available to overseas subscribers only. 

Bell will be the studio guest from 2.30pm before he turns his attentions to co-commentary during the fixture at Ashton Gate.

GET YOUR MATCH PASS


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