Fleetwood Town welcome Sunderland to Highbury Stadium on New Years Day for the first game of the decade, and we have all you need to know in our match preview.
Fixture: Fleetwood Town v Sunderland
Competition: Sky Bet League One
Date: Wednesday 1 January 2020
Venue: Highbury Stadium, Park Avenue, Fleetwood, FY7 6TX.
Match officials: Anthony Backhouse (Referee) Steven Rushton & Richard Bartlett (Assistants) David Richardson (Fourth Official)
This will be the first game Anthony Backhouse takes charge of with Fleetwood involved since Town’s 1-0 away win at Accrington Stanley last season. Harry Souttar scored the only goal of the game that afternoon.
The Englishman has officiated 18 matches this season, whilst handing out 61 yellow cards and just the two red cards – one being in his last Sky Bet League One fixture between Accrington and Bolton Wanderers.
The Cod Army are back at home for the second time in four days, and will be taking many positive away after their impressive display against Bristol Rovers in the final game of the decade. The match finished 0-0, but Fleetwood did have the ball in the back of the net, however it was ruled out due to an offside.
Fleetwood sit 8th in the table and 8 points better off compared to 12 months ago, and have two more home games to go with Portsmouth in the Emirates FA Cup and Accrington Stanley in the Leasing.com Trophy.
Town are four games unbeaten now and will be looking to take their run of form into the big tie against the Black Cats, where the club beat Sunderland 2-1 in their last meeting with Ashley Eastham scoring the winner late in injury time.
Sunderland rounded off 2019 with a win when goals from Lynden Gooch and Chris Maguire proved to be decisive at Doncaster Rovers last Sunday.
Gooch scored a fine effort from distance after quick thinking from Maguire before Jon Taylor pulled one back against the run of play.
The win gives Sunderland a slight reprieve after a frustrating run of games has seen them slide down the League One table. However, it’s meant the Black Cats remain unbeaten in three matches as they look to climb back into promotion contention.
ONE TO WATCH – CHRIS MAGUIRE
One for Town fans to keep an eye out for on Wednesday is playmaker, Chris Maguire. The Black Cats danger man has scored seven goals in 26 appearances in all competitions.
Maguire scored in Sunderland 2-1 away win at Doncaster on Sunday, and will be looking to reach double figures this campaign after just missing out last season.
The 30-year-old started off his career at Aberdeen back in 2005, where he moved down South across the border to Derby County for a fee of £400,000. With a loan spell at Portsmouth, he signed for Sheffield Wednesday – where he played just under 100 matches, scoring 20 goals.
WATCH THE GAME ON iFOLLOW
If you can’t make Wednesday’s game, then we’ve got you covered as you can watch and listen to the full match live on iFollow.
Supporters in the U.K and overseas will be able to live stream the Sunderland game for just £10!
If you want to know more about iFollow, and find out ways to support the Cod Army, click HERE. (terms and conditions)
Any further questions on iFollow Fleetwood, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT JOEY BARTON HAD TO SAY
Joey Barton spoke to the media following Town’s goalless draw with Bristol Rovers:
“We played well against Rotherham and probably should have won. Then we won at Rochdale and should have won today against Bristol Rovers so it’s really good signs, especially being four unbeaten.
“We want to win more games obviously, but we are now just starting to show just what a good side we are at this point in the season. The table doesn’t lie anymore and as a team, we are moving in the right direction. The key is that we need to put teams to the sword when we are so much better than them.”
THOUGHTS FROM SUNDERLAND – PHIL PARKINSON
" When you don’t win for a while, the pressure builds because football is about winning. We have had to remain focused on the process because you need to tick a number of boxes to enable you to get back on track and get the results.
“We have spoken about what we have done well lately and what we need to improve on. We accept the criticism when we don’t win a game. We felt we should’ve won our Boxing Day game, but we didn’t.
“We responded in the right manner at Doncaster Rovers in front of a fantastic 4,000 fans. I have got to say it, but they were really like the 12th man and they responded to what they saw on the pitch.
“They got right behind the lads from the first minute to the last and now it’s about continuing that good work on New Year’s Day at Fleetwood Town.”
HOW TO GET YOUR MATCHDAY TICKETS
Tickets for the match on New Years Day will remain on sale until kick-off. Supporters will be able to buy theirs at the Club Shop at Highbury or down at the club’s training ground at Poolfoot Farm.
Fans can also purchase their tickets online HERE, or head down to the ground on the day of the game – prices are as followed:
Adults - £24
Seniors & Under 25s - £19
Under 16s - £9
If you require further details on tickets, please contact the Ticket Office on 01253 775080, or visit the Club Shop prior the match.
SKY BET’S BETTING ODDS
You can get a price of 6/5 for Town to pick up all three points against Sunderland
If you think Joey Barton’s side will win and BTTS you can get odds of 9/2.
For Fleetwood to win 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1, the odds are boosted to 2/1.
Here are some odds of players to score first or last:
Paddy Madden: 7/2
Ched Evans: 9/2
Josh Morris: 11/2
Wes Burns: 17/2
Paul Coutts: 28/1
For more odds on SkyBet, click here. Please remember to bet and gamble responsibly.