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Match Previews

Match Preview: Sunderland

All the news, views, and info ahead of tomorrow's trip to the Stadium of Light

16 February 2018

Sunderland vs Brentford

Saturday 17 February

Stadium of Light, 3pm

Sky Bet Championship

The Opposition

If Sunderland fans thought it couldn't get much worse after last season's rock-bottom finish in the Premier League then The Black Cats disastrous campaign this time round has been a rude awakening. It didn't start too badly under Simon Grayson as Sunderland lost just one of their first six games in all competitions back in August. 

However, a 3-0 defeat to Barnsley snowballed into a run of 15 games without a win which ultimately cost Grayson his job. Chris Coleman has overseen an improvement of sorts at the Stadium of Light, winning four of his 14 games in charge, but Sunderland still go into tomorrow's game 23rd in the table, three points from safety.

The Team News

The Black Cats will be without a quartet of injured players for tomorrow's game in the shape of Ovie Ejaria, Lamine Kone, Marc Wilson, and Paddy McNair. However, their numbers have been boosted by the returns to fitness of Jonny Williams, Adam Matthews and Callum McManaman 

For The Bees, Sergi Canos remains suspended but Chris Mepham and Ryan Woods have recovered after missing last Saturday's draw at home to Preston North End.

The Manager

Chris Coleman has had three months in the hot seat at the Stadium of Light following his resignation as Wales manager back in November. After a 16-year playing career which saw him make nearly 600 appearances for Swansea City, Crystal Palace, Blackburn Rovers, and Fulham, and earn 32 caps for Wales, Coleman was forced to retire in 2002 after breaking his leg in a car crash. 

His retirement that October saw him move from the playing to the coaching staff at Craven Cottage. The sacking of Jean Tigana the following April saw Coleman appointed caretaker Fulham boss until the end of the season. He managed to avoid relegation and then lead The Whites to ninth-place the following campaign. He left Fulham in 2007 and had unsuccessful spells with Real Sociedad, Coventry City, and AEL before taking the Wales job in 2012. In 2016, he ended Wales 58-year wait for tournament qualification as he led his nation to the Semi-Finals of Euro 2016. Defeat to the Republic of Ireland last November, which ended Wales' hopes of qualifing for this summer's World Cup in Russia, saw him tender his resignation, two days before taking over on Wearside. 

Pre-Match Briefing

Dean Smith: "There's plenty to play for"

Henrik Dalsgaard: "If we get our game up and running then we are pretty much unbeatable"

Opposition View: The Chronicle's James Hunter on what to expect from The Black Cats

We Meet Again: Re-live October's meeting as the two sides share six points at Griffin Park 

Ref Watch: Find out more about John Brooks, the man in the middle for tomorrow's encounter

Travel Guide: Plan your day in Sunderland with our Away Day Guide

Betting Preview

Principal partners LeoVegas have a range of markets on tomorrow's game. Check out their wide range of markets here.

Ticket News

Tickets will be on sale on the day in the away end, cash only on turnstile 71. There will be no price increase so prices will remain as Adults £25, Seniors, £19, U22 £16 and U16 £1.

Duplicate and collection tickets will be available to collect from the match day collection point in the Ticket Office. The Ticket Office is located within Black Cat House which is an administration building adjacent to the stadium. 

Match Coverage

iFollow Brentford will be live from 2.30pm tomorrow with Mark Burridge hosting Matchday Live alongside Mick Cabble and Ciaran Brett. 

Download the Official Brentford FC App to get notifications direct to your phone, plus all the latest news, views and reaction from the game. Visit the Play Store or iTunes App Store now to download.

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