Our prediction for this League 1 match:
A place in the League One play-offs final will be at stake when Sunderland and Portsmouth face each other at the Keepmoat Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Black Cats were on the verge of securing automatic promotion to the English second tier, but they eventually failed to secure a top-two finish. Sunderland are regarded as favourites to beat Portsmouth at the Stadium of Light, but seeing that they suffered a dip in form, home win should not be considered.
The Pompey, on the other hand, finished the season in fourth position in the League One standings. Anyhow, the two teams seem to be evenly matched at the moment and we predict that they are going to share the spoils in the first leg of the League One play-offs. In their last meeting in the English second tier the two teams played out a 1-1 draw.
Highlighted Player (Will Grigg):
Wighan Athletic striker Will Grigg became a viral sensation during the European Championship in France but the chances are any avid football fan will have been well aware of his goalscoring exploits even before 2016. The 27-year-old forward began his career at Stratford Town but it was in Walsall that the world took notice of his presence after 27 goals in 99 performances for the club.
He first came to prominence during the 2012/13 season when he was voted the club’s Player of the Season and Players’ Player of the Season, but a loan spell at Milton Keynes Dons during his rather unfortunate two-year spell over at Brentford proved crucial for his career.
The total of 20 goals in 44 appearances at Stadium MK was where Wigan Athletic noticed the Northern Ireland man and moved in to sign him on a three year contract for a £1 million fee in 2015. ‘Will Grigg’s on Fire’ was the hit song of the Euro 2016 even though the Northern Ireland striker ended up not getting a chance to make a bow in the tournament.
Highlighted Team (Sunderland):
Sunderland are a professional football club that have been playing their home games at the Stadium of Light since 1997. The capacity of the stadium is 49,000, but before expansion the original ground capacity was 42,000. Red and White shirts are Sunderland’s trademark and the club’s fiercest rivals are Newcastle United. The two local rivals have been contesting in the Tyne-Wear derby since 1898 and there have always been fireworks in what is one of the greatest derbies in English football. Sunderland were on the verge of dropping to the Championship in the 2015/2016 Premier League campaign, but experienced tactician Sam Allardyce eventually helped the team avoid relegation.
The Black Cats have won six First Division trophies (now the Premier League), with the team lifting two FA Cup titles. Sunderland won their first FA Cup trophy in 1937, with the team beating Preston North End 3-1 in the title game. The club was founded in 1879 as Sunderland and District Teachers A.F.C.