Connect with us

Championship

If Sunderland drop into the third-tier it will only be for the second time

Sunderland have given themselves hope of survival with a 4-1 win against Derby County.

Mathew Nash

Published

on

Good Friday saw something of a miracle from Sunderland, as their unlikely fight to survive in the Championship finally kicked into gear. The Black Cats went into the game on a run of three straight defeats but stunned Derby County away from home with a 4-1 win.

Goals from George Honeyman, Ashley Fletcher, Aiden McGeady and John O’Shea gave Sunderland all three points, despite Matej Vydra’s attempt to spoil the party halfway through.

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND – JANUARY 10: A Sunderland flag flaps in the wind before the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Liverpool at Stadium of Light on January 10, 2015 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

The result gives Sunderland, who have been in freefall, a hope of Championship survival. With seven games left they are five points behind Birmingham City and safety.

Dropping into the third-tier of English football would be a massive blow for Sunderland and would signify the mismanagement of the club in recent times under the stewardship of Ellis Short.

There is one little-known fact that highlights the club’s fall from grace more than any other. Should Sunderland fall out of the Championship and into League One it would represent just the second time the club have played outside the top two tiers of the English game.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 10: Joel Asoro of Sunderland reacts during the Sky Bet Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Sunderland at Loftus Road on March 10, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jack Thomas/Getty Images)

Sunderland have a rich history. They joined the Football League in the third year of its inception after Stoke were not re-elected.

It was then 68 years before Sunderland suffered relegation. The club was relegated to the third tier for the one and only time in 1987, bouncing straight back up at the first attempt.

Not many teams in English football have such a proud and successful record which makes the demise of Sunderland all the more disappointing to watch.

The 4-1 win at Derby however undoubtedly gives Sunderland hope that they will not repeat 1987 this year around. A club of this stature should not be in such dire straits. Hopefully, Chris Coleman can pull off the great escape.

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Previously spent five years writing for HITC Sport. Everton fan for my sins.

Bournemouth

Fantasy Premier League: Five players to sign for matchweek two

There is plenty of names to swoop for ahead of the weekend’s fixtures.

Published

on

Photo: Getty Images

Fantasy Premier League returned with a bang last weekend, with a number of high-scorers handing plenty of players a solid start to the new campaign.

Popular players Sadio Mane, Richarlison and Aaron Wan-Bissaka all rewarded those who selected them on the opening weekend, each earning 12+ points, while Watford duo Roberto Pereyra (5.2%) and Jose Holebas (5.1%) also caught the eye and secured huge points for the few that opted for the Hornets pair.

Ahead of matchweek two in the Premier League, we have searched the databases for five players you should definitely look to pick up to provide your team with a boost.

Bernardo Silva: Manchester City

The news of Kevin De Bruyne’s knee injury has sent shockwaves across FPL, with 16.8% of players still having the Belgium international in their squad. If you fall into that category, you should definitely look at dropping the midfielder.

(Photo by James Baylis – AMA/Getty Images)

Bernardo Silva is the most likely candidate to step up for the Citizens in De Bruyne’s absence and he enters this weekend’s clash with Huddersfield Town in decent form, scoring the second goal in last week’s 2-0 victory over Arsenal.

Huddersfield conceded 58 goals last season, more than relegated pair West Brom and Swansea City, so Silva can be expected to add to his eight-point haul against the Terriers – especially as he has scored five goals in his last seven starts.

Ryan Fraser: Bournemouth

Scorer of the opening goal for Bournemouth in last weekend’s victory over Cardiff City, Ryan Fraser brought home 11 points for the few managers who had the midfielder in their side – and just 2.3% of managers have the 24-year-old in their squad.

Costing £5.5m, Fraser is perhaps a more expensive option to other creative players at lower-end Premier League sides to consider but he certainly has the form to make his outlay worthwhile – as he has been directly involved in six goals in his last six matches at the Vitality Stadium (four goals, two assists).

The Cherries are away from home this weekend against a West Ham side that were torn about by Liverpool on the opening weekend and Fraser could hold the key to breaking down Manuel Pellegrini’s side.

Ben Mee: Burnley

While the rest of the Premier League prepares for their second match, Burnley are well into their stride as Europa League qualifiers mean that Sean Dyche’s side have already played five matches this season – and they are in superb form.

The Clarets have now registered three consecutive clean sheets across all competitions following Thursday night’s 1-0 victory over Istanbul Basaksehir, although extra time could have taken some wind out of Burnley’s sails.

Hosting Watford this weekend, Ben Mee and the Burnley defence will face a stern test but history favours the hosts – who have not lost to the Hornets at Turf Moor since 2004, securing three clean sheets in the last three meetings in Lancashire.

Roberto Pereyra: Watford

Selected by 5.2% of managers heading into matchweek two, many may believe that Roberto Pereyra’s 16 point haul last weekend was just a freak occurrence after the 2-0 win over Brighton but the stats suggest that is not the case.

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Pereyra has now hit four goals in his last five Premier League games at Vicarage Road and now faces the challenge of transferring that form into away matches – and a game against a tired Burnley side who played 120 minutes in midweek is the ideal opportunity for him to shine.

Watford need to build upon last weekend’s win as they have a tough run of fixtures coming up against Tottenham, Manchester United and Arsenal, with Pereyra’s attacking flair potentially providing the key to breaking down a resilient Burnley defence.

Neil Etheridge: Cardiff City

In last weekend’s 2-0 defeat to Bournemouth, Neil Etheridge became the first goalkeeper to save a penalty on his Premier League debut since Allan McGregor in 2013 by denying Callum Wilson from the spot – earning six points in the process.

The Welsh side are back at home this weekend against a Newcastle United outfit who continue to suffer under the tyranny of Mike Ashley. Defeat last weekend against Spurs was not surprising but has raised the pressure for Rafael Benitez’s side.

28-year-old Etheridge is a good bet to pick up further points this weekend against a Magpies side that scored just 39 goals in 38 matches last term, the lowest tally of any top-ten side excluding Burnley.

Continue Reading

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Paul Gladon may need to change his thinking to seal Wolves exit

The Dutch striker has no chance of regular football at Molineux this season.

Mathew Nash

Published

on

In the summer of 2016 Wolverhampton Wanderers snapped up Dutch striker Paul Gladon from Heracles Almelo. The striker had a good scoring record in the past with the likes of Sparta Rotterdam and FC Dordrecht.

However, the £1 million signing has struggled in England.

Gladon featured just three times in his debut season and was cast aside by Paul Lambert after his arrival in November 2016.

Then the Fosun era got into full flow and with the influx of new players Gladon found himself out of favour. He was loaned back to Heracles last season where he made minimal impact.


“He’s just not part of it. I’ve got so many players here. Paul has maybe found it hard himself. I think it’s maybe thrown him as well, how hard it is. I’ve just got to go with ones I think can do it, week in week out.”

– Former Wolves boss Paul Lambert on Gladon’s struggles


The signing of Gladon seemed puzzling at the time and now, with Wolves in the Premier League, his chances of playing for Wolves again appear incredibly slim.

Gladon, like Joe Mason, Dominic Iorfa and Michal Zyro to name a few, has become one of Wolves’ outcasts and he needs to be shifted before the end of the month. Roda JC and FC Twente came knocking in July but, as reported by Tribal Football, he does not wish to play in the Dutch second-tier.

With time running out to find a new club he may want to revisit that stance or spend a season in the reserves.

Continue Reading

Aston Villa

After finally starting first Aston Villa game, Rushian Hepburn-Murphy must take chance

Aston Villa will hope Hepburn-Murphy can thrive at Villa Park.

Mathew Nash

Published

on

Aston Villa faced Yeovil in the League Cup this week. A solitary goal from Conor Hourihane gave the Championship side the win and advancement to the second round. It was also a game which saw Steve Bruce give a chance to several young talents.

One such player was forward Rushian Hepburn-Murphy. The 19-year-old may have made his debut under Tim Sherwood way back in 2015, but this was actually his first start for his hometown club.

Hepburn-Murphy has been in and around the first-team for some time. His goalscoring record with the development team is a testament to his talents and Aston Villa fans are backing him for success.

(Photo by Peter Haygarth/ActionPlus/Corbis via Getty Images)

He currently has a chance in the first-team and, he needs to take it now.

With Scott Hogan injured and Aston Villa not making big transfer moves so far this summer, suddenly Hepburn-Murphy has a chance to cement his place in the first-team picture.

The teenager, who has had to battle injury trouble in recent seasons, has the perfect opportunity in his hands. He worked tirelessly against Yeovil and that will put him in good stead. But a goal or two would get that monkey off his back and have Aston Villa fans calling for him to remain in Bruce’s plans.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2018 The Boot Room.