Fleetwood Town v Sunderland match preview

Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson during the Sky Bet League 1 match between Sunderland and Doncaster Rovers at the Stadium Of Light, Sunderland on Friday 24th January 2020. (Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto)

Sunderland make the trip to Highbury tonight (Friday 27 November) to face Joey Barton and Fleetwood Town in League One. 

Both sides sit on 22 points, and are outside the Play-Off places despite being two of the favourites for promotion.

Ahead of the match, Sunderland will be without Lynden Gooch who is expected to be out for up to four weeks with an ankle injury. 

The Black Cats will also be without Jordan Willis, however they could see Callum McFadzean, Aiden O’Brien and Morgan Feeney back in the fold. 

Recent results have been poor for Sunderland, and Phil Parkinson’s men are without a win in their last four competitive games.

“We’ve dipped in terms of our points return since the FA Cup game against Mansfield, as we lost to MK Dons and drew at Doncaster, but we’re still unbeaten on our travels in the league which is good,” said Parkinson. 

“Like I’ve said, what we’re working to improve on is how to pin teams in, to sense when they’re hanging by a thread and kill them off. If you look at the Doncaster game, we had them where we wanted them, but we had to be more ruthless.

“But I feel there is more to come from the team. These next three games in eight days will see the players get an opportunity to show that.”

Sunderland’s opponents Fleetwood are managed by former Newcastle player Joey Barton, and he was quick to talk up the Black Cats ahead of tonight’s game. 

“They’ve started solidly again and have got a very low xG on shots against them,” Barton said of Sunderland.

“They have just gone on a little bit of an iffy spell, getting beaten by Mansfield and MK Dons, and Doncaster scored a late goal against them last time out but, they will be competitive – Phil Parkinson’s sides always are.

“They’ve got good players, big expectations because of the size of their football club but they will be a wounded animal, due to their recent results.

“It will be a very tough game for us, they will fancy their chances and won’t be worrying about coming to Fleetwood and we look forward to that challenge.”