Sunderland AFC vs Southend United...
Southend United begin a run of three successive away league matches with a trip to the Stadium of Light as they take on Sunderland tomorrow afternoon.
Blues fans will remember fondly the last time these two sides met, as Southend beat the Black Cats on a dramatic final day to secure their League One survival.
And Sol Campbell will hope to invoke memories from that afternoon in May as Blues look for just their second league win of the season and their first under their new boss.
Blues are without a win in their last six league matches, picking up just one point from the last 18 available with a draw against Tranmere a fortnight ago.
Southend were blown away by Doncaster before showing an improved performance in Sol Campbell’s first game against Ipswich, although Blues were still beaten 3-1.
Sunderland haven’t had it all their own way recently with two wins and one draw from their last six in the league and in midweek they were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Oxford on penalties.
Saturday 4th May 2019
Southend United 2-1 Sunderland
White 43’, Humphrys 87’; Maguire (p)75’
I’m sure Blues fans won’t need reminding about the last time these two sides met as Stephen Humphrys’ late strike secured Southend the win they needed to earn League One survival.
In a must-win game for the home side, John White put Southend in front before Chris Maguire’s penalty levelled matters, only for Humphrys to score in the dying minutes to save Blues.
Blues Team News
Harry Lennon returns from suspension to bolster Blues’ defensive options having missed last weekend’s defeat to Ipswich thanks to a one-match ban.
Stephen McLaughlin and Ethan Hamilton, however, remain suspended as they continue to serve out their three-game bans for red cards picked up against Doncaster Rovers.
Mark Milligan will be assessed after picking up an ankle knock in training this week while Stephen Humphrys is out for around three weeks with a thigh injury.
Chris Maguire, the midfield man that those on Wearside refer to as ‘The King’, is arguably the one to watch tomorrow having notched five times already this season to be Sunderland’s joint top scorer.
Maguire scored nine times last season, including goals both home and away against Blues, and he’s already well on his way to eclipsing that number this time around.
The 30-year-old has scored some spectacular goals in the past and, worryingly for Southend, all five of his strikes this season have come at home in wins against Portsmouth, Wimbledon and Tranmere.
Trevor Kettle will be the man in charge tomorrow afternoon at the Stadium of Light, assisted by Stephen Wade and Ian Dudley, while Garreth Rhodes acts as the fourth official.
This’ll be the second time this season that Kettle has taken charge of Blues, having officiated Southend’s 2-0 defeat to Brighton’s u21s in the Leasing.com Trophy a month ago.
Kettle so far this season has refereed 12 games, showing 37 yellow cards and four reds, and most recently oversaw Bolton’s 2-0 win away at Bristol Rovers.
Away Fans Guide
Sunderland’s Stadium of Light is by far and away the biggest and most impressive ground Southend fans will visit in League One, with the stadium having a capacity of almost 50,000.
Those fans travelling tomorrow will find themselves in the upper tier of the North Stand with visiting teams typically being given an allocation of around 3,000 tickets.
For more information on the ground, including info on travel directions, where to park and where to go for a pre-match drink, check out awaygames.co.uk’s guide by clicking here.
Pre-Sale tickets for tomorrow’s clash came off sale yesterday (Thursday 31st October) but tickets will still be available to purchase at the Stadium of Light on matchday.
Those looking to purchase tickets on the day of the game, please be aware that it is cash only and tickets can be bought directly at turnstile 71.
For those hoping to get concessions tickets, this will be cash only also and you will need to visit the Sunderland Ticket Office which is located in a separate building adjacent to the East Stand.