Terry Westley’s U23’s travel to the North-East tomorrow lunchtime for their sixth Premier League 2 clash of the season in which they will be facing the Black Cats.
The youngsters go into the tie off the back of three consecutive defeats in all competitions to mar what was otherwise a positive start, they now sit in fifth place. Whereas, Sunderland are eighth with five points from their opening five fixtures and have a chance to overtake us with three points.
The game is scheduled for tomorrow (Sunday 24 September 2017) with a kick-off time of midday, and no television or radio coverage of the fixture being broadcasted in the UK.
However, you can follow live updates of all the action and reaction from the North East on @MooreThanAClub on Twitter.
The Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground will host the tie on Sunday afternoon, with a capacity of 2,000, the stadium is part of the Hetton Sports Centre.
The ground, in Hetton-Le-Hole, serves as a permeant home for the Black Cats’ U23 side and tomorrow will spell our starlets’ first visit to the ground in the PL2 era.
Terry Westley is expected to welcome the trio of Sead Haksabanovic, Nathan Holland, and Domingos Quina back into his side after they were on first-team duty for Slaven Bilic this week against Bolton Wanderers at the London Stadium.
There is also a rumour that young Swiss midfielder Edimilson Fernandes will feature for Westley as he steps up his recovery from the ankle injury sustained on International Duty.
Meanwhile, Elliott Dickman could again have young prodigy Duncan Watmore at his disposal after he scored in the 2-2 draw at the Etihad Stadium.
Sunderland’s Xl is also expected to contain some of the club’s brightest young talent in the form of Rees Greenwood, Andy Nelson and Tom Robson to name a few.
In recent seasons, the Development Squads of West Ham United and Sunderland have met sporadically in recent times, with our youngsters just edging the overall record.
However, the hosts will come into the tie, refereed by Paul Marsden in the better form after respectable consecutive draws with Chelsea and Manchester City.
Whereas, we have been dispatched 7-2, 3-1 and 0-2 in our last three in all competitions after some impressive early results.
The Black Cats Youth setup has enjoyed relative success in recent times as the U23’s reached the final of the Premier League International Cup last season, only to be beaten by Porto.
Aside from that, the North Eastern youngsters have excelled in maintaining their place in the PL2 Division One since its creation, a feat that betters the efforts of The First-Team who have recently been relegated to the Championship.
Sunderland’s traditional Academy has been charged with producing some incredible talent of late and in the past.
Jordan Pickford, Micky Gray, Jack Colback and Jordan Henderson have all been recent products at the Stadium Of Light.
So, with everything you need to know ahead of tomorrow’s clash well and truly covered, can we tame the Black Cats to arrest the slide and get back into the top four? Or, will the home side roar to extend our torrid run?