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Preview: Sunderland v Fleetwood Town

7 September 2018

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Joey Barton and his side travel to the North East this weekend to face Sunderland in Sky Bet League One.

Fleetwood Town are unbeaten on the road this season, and will look to continue that run at the Stadium of Light. With wins away against Oxford and Scunthorpe, and a draw at Charlton, the Cod Army are enjoying life on the road.

Town won their last game 2-1 against Bradford City, with Ched Evans scoring his fifth goal in six league matches. Ash Hunter scored the winner in the second half to give ten men of Town all three points at Highbury.

Joey Barton was on press duty at Poolfoot Farm on Thursday morning and spoke about the challenge ahead for his side, the connections with Newcastle United, and much more.

Head coach Joey Barton said…

“Saturday will be a very proud moment for this football club, and if you asked Andy Pilley when he started his journey with this football club as Chairman if he would be coming up against Sunderland in front of thirty odd thousand fans, he’d have told you that you were mad!

“When you look at where Fleetwood have come from and how they are progressing still, because there still is a gap between ourselves and Sunderland in size and structure; we will be going there in form, and I honestly believe we aren’t a million miles away from them as a team.

“For me it’s another game and as a player, I played in big derby matches and one was against Sunderland and I just see the three points on the line. Just like it was against Bradford last Saturday.”

Sunderland boss Jack Ross said…

“I don’t know how Fleetwood will set up because we have already seen teams approach games in different ways at the Stadium of Light.

“Oxford were very aggressive in how they pressed and approached the game high up the pitch. The pleasing thing is we have reacted well in every game, naturally though we would like to go ahead in games and stay ahead.

“In terms of our preparation, we can’t always say for certain how a team will shape up. What I can say though, is if they approach it the same way Oxford did, then we will be better prepared than we were last weekend.”

2018/19 Sky Bet League One Form (Last five matches L-R):

Sunderland AFC: D W W W D

Fleetwood Town: W D W D W

Black Cats Danger Man

Chris Maguire is the man to watch for Sunderland when Fleetwood Town make the trip up to the North East. The attacking midfielder joined the Black Cats in the summer from Bury, who were relegated to League Two.

The 29-year-old started off his career at Aberdeen, in their Academy set-up, and was later loaned out to fellow Scottish team Kilmarnock. Derby County came calling for the youngster in June 2011, and paid £400,000 to for the midfielder.

Maguire – who scored two goals so far this season against Scunthorpe and Gillingham – has played plenty of his football in the English leagues with spells at Portsmouth, Sheffield Wednesday, Coventry City, Rotherham and Oxford United.

It was at Oxford where he produced his best form, and in the 2016/17 season, Maguire scored 17 goals and managed12 assists. He became a fans favourite in Oxfordshire, having helped the club gain promotion in the previous season.

Betting Preview

Jack Ross’ Sunderland are favourites to take all three points at the Stadium of Light with odds at 17/20.

Joey Barton’s Cod Army are priced at 3/1 to win away, with odds for 13/5 for a draw in the North East.

For Fleetwood to win at Sunderland, and for both teams to score is priced at 15/2.

Town’s leading goalscorer Ched Evans opened the scoring last weekend against Bradford City, and for the Welshman to do the same this week, the odds are 6/1.

You can find more odds for the match on Sky Bet. Please bet and gamble responsibly.

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