Sunderland v Blackpool AS IT HAPPENED: Updates from pivotal clash at the Stadium of Light

Blackpool will be bidding to get back to winning ways against Sunderland tonight after back-to-back defeats put a dent in their play-off hopes.

Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 4:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 9:48 pm
The Seasiders will be looking to complete the double over Sunderland

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LIVE: Sunderland v Blackpool

Last updated: Tuesday, 27 April, 2021, 19:22

  • LIVE: Sunderland 0-1 Blackpool
  • Seasiders bidding to get back to winning ways after suffering back-to-back defeats
  • Neil Critchley’s men remain in play-offs with four games to go

And welcome to today’s live blog, where we’ll bring you all the build-up, team news and action from Blackpool’s pivotal League One encounter against play-off rivals Sunderland.

Follow the blog for regular updates throughout the night.

The Seasiders head to the North-East looking to get back to winning ways after defeats against Rochdale and Shrewsbury Town put a dent in their play-off hopes.

Despite the back-to-back losses, Neil Critchley’s side remain in the top six, although their points buffer has been wiped out and they sit ahead of seventh-placed Portsmouth on goal difference only.

Tonight’s meeting with Lee Johnson’s side comes just 10 days after Blackpool secured a 1-0 win against the Black Cats at Bloomfield Road, courtesy of Luke Garbutt’s deflected strike.

Sunderland, who remain third but are unlikely to catch Peterborough United in second, are in a poor run of form with no wins in six.

Despite the slump, the Wearside outfit remain five points ahead of Pompey with just three games remaining.

Blackpool could be boosted by the return of Kevin Stewart tonight, having taken part in training yesterday afternoon.

The midfielder (above) has been sidelined since March 13, when he suffered an ankle injury during the goalless draw against Fleetwood Town, and has missed the following 11 games as a result.

Elsewhere, Daniel Gretarsson, Matty Virtue, Keshi Anderson, CJ Hamilton and Gary Madine remain sidelined through injury, while Bez Lubala is still unavailable due to a 'club matter'.

Elliot Embleton is also ineligible to face his parent club at the Stadium of Light.

Neil Critchley’s pre-match comments

Neil Critchley's side could be boosted by the return of Kevin Stewart at Sunderland

“The win against them 10 days ago is so fresh in your mind, that information is there.

“I’m sure Sunderland will be looking at our team and what problems we caused them and what they can do better to get a better result against us.

“Even though we got a good result, we’ll also be looking at what we need to do better in that game.

“What we did do well in that first game was defend the goal. We kept a very good attacking team out that day and we’ll have to do something similar on Tuesday night.

“We’ll have to defend very well as a team but they’ve not won in six games, so we know we’ve got it in our locker to cause them problems as well.

“Sunderland play good football regardless of who they play against because they’ve got good players.

“You only have to look at their previous games, where they have controlled a lot of the play and had a lot of the ball.

“They’ve got good players right across the team, you only have to look at their bench as well. They can make attacking changes and slight tweaks to their formation.

“We know it’s a difficult ask, but we can also draw confidence from our performance against them just over a week ago.”

Here’s the Sunderland team

After suffering back-to-back defeats, Neil Critchley opts to make three changes to the side from the weekend setback against Shrewsbury Town.

James Husband comes into the starting XI to make his first start since March 16, while Ollie Turton and Ethan Robson also come into the fold.

For Robson, it will be his first start since the 5-0 thrashing of Wigan Athletic at the end of January.

Jordan Gabriel, Elliot Embleton and Ellis Simms are the three to make way, loanee Embleton missing out against his parent club.

Kevin Stewart returns from a six-week absence with an ankle injury to take his spot on the substitutes’ bench.

Daniel Gretarsson, Matty Virtue, Keshi Anderson, CJ Hamilton and Gary Madine all remain sidelined, while Bez Lubala remains unavailable due to a ‘club matter’.

Third-placed Sunderland, who came into tonight’s game on the back of a six-game winless run, make one change from their 3-3 draw against Accrington Stanley at the weekend.

Madine on a watching brief

15 minutes until kick-off

And kick-off is moments away.

Can the Seasiders complete a league double over play-off rivals Sunderland to boost their top six hopes at the business end of the season? We’ll soon find out.

Up the mighty Pool!

After both sets of players take the knee, Sunderland get the game underway.

Come on!

1 - Tactical switch

8 - Crossing opportunity

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