A look ahead to what awaits the Terriers at the Stadium of Light tomorrow evening
- Sunderland vs Huddersfield Town
- Wednesday 29 November 2023; 7.45pm
- Comprehensive preview of Town’s next opponents
Having beaten Town at the John Smith’s Stadium last season, the Terriers took a point from Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in return at the tail end of the campaign.
Meeting 38 times across history, both sides have enjoyed 15 victories each, with eight draws between them. First crossing paths at Leeds Road on 25 September 1920, the game ended goalless, and Town had to wait until Christmas in 1923 to get the better of the Black Cats for the first time.
Having played infrequently since the 1970s with the sides in different divisions, Town’s last victory at the Stadium of Light came in the League Cup back in 2003, with the Terriers running out 4-2 winners against then higher-league opponents.
Ninth placed Sunderland are currently three places and two points shy of the Play-Off places.
Looking to at least match last season’s top six finish, the Black Cats lost in the Play-Off Semi-Finals to Coventry City at the end of the previous campaign, having only rejoined the Sky Bet Championship that summer following promotion from Sky Bet League One.
Seven years removed from the Premier League - the longest run in their history - that will be their ultimate aim, having spent 10 consecutive seasons in the top tier prior to relegation.
Vastly experienced, Tony Mowbray is in second campaign as Sunderland boss having departed his position in charge of Blackburn Rovers at the end of the 2021/22 season.
A former central defender in his playing days for Middlesbrough, Celtic and Ipswich Town, he entered coaching soon after hanging his boots up, taking his first permanent role with Scottish side Hibernian before moving on to West Bromwich Albion.
Having performed well in the Midlands, a big move to Celtic came next in what was one of two returns to a former club for Mowbray, with his next step taking him away from Glasgow and back down to Middlesbrough.
A short spell with Coventry City came before taking the reigns at Ewood Park, and Mowbray remained in Lancashire for five years between 2017 and 2022, going full circle and returning to the North East with Sunderland in August 2022.
LAST TIME OUT
Making the long trip to Devon to face Plymouth Argyle, the Black Cats were undone by two first half goals, with the home side seeing out a 2-0 victory.
Sunderland enjoyed the vast majority of possession, which resulted in more than twice as many shots and shots on target than Plymouth, but they didn’t have the cutting edge in front of goal that could have got them back in the game.
Conceding both of the attempts on target that Plymouth lodged, it was a result that Tony Mowbray described as “frustrating” as he saw his side as being “the dominant team” on the day.
Previous Starting XI: Patterson; Hume, O’Nien, Ballard, Huggins; Ekwah; Roberts, Neil, Bellingham, Clarke; Rusyn (4-1-4-1)
Sunderland have operated with a lone striker formation in all but two games this season, having made a switch from 4-2-3-1 to 4-1-4-1 midway through the current campaign.
An attacking side, they have prioritised a system that allows them to have as many of their attacking players on the pitch at the same time as possible, leaving one dedicated holding midfielder in place to drop into the backline while the full-backs push forward.
Also able to adapt their shape to accommodate a second forward, they have been susceptible on the break, as shown in their previous defeat to Plymouth Argyle.
WHO TO WATCH
Central defender O’Nien has only missed one game for Sunderland in the Sky Bet Championship this season serving a one game suspension, starting on every other occasion. Wearing the armband this season, he has previously turned outin defensive midfield and right back for the club, but has settled in the centre of defence this season.
Signed from Birmingham City in the summer, 18-year-old Bellingham has hit the ground running at the Stadium of Light, starting in every one of their Sky Bet Championship outings so far this season. Registering three goals and an assist, he’s become a fixture in midfield, with his ability to carry the ball up field, draw fouls and provide a physical presence in the final third a new point of attack for his team.
Since rejoining Sunderland permanently from Tottenham Hotspur after a successful period on loan, Clarke has gone from strength-to-strength, establishing himself as one of the most dangerous attacking players in the league. With plenty of experience under his belt at 23, York born Clarke has started each league game for Sunderland this season, scoring nine goals and making one assist.
TOWN TEAM NEWS
Town boss Darren Moore shared a full update on how his was shaping up after the weekend’s fixture with Southampton at his latest press conference, live on HTTV from the Millers Oils High Performance Complex, which supporters can watch back in full below.
It will be stripes against stripes at the Stadium of Light with Town due to line-up in our traditional home blue and white strip as Sunderland don their red and white.
Supporters who want to get their 2023/24 home kit while stocks last can do so online and in store at our Club Shop - CLICK HERE to shop now!
This is an all-ticket fixture with no pay on the day at the Stadium of Light available.
Although tickets are now off sale from our home ticket office, supporters can still purchase their ticket in the away end direct from Sunderland.
CLICK HERE to book.
Available on iFollow HTAFC to stream live with match passes and audio match passes, supporters can CLICK HERE to book the game to watch along from home.
Also available via Sky Sports’ red button offering, supporters with a subscription will also be able to watch live on television.