Pre-Match Facts

HOME Park is expected to be a full house today as we welcome Sunderland to PL2 for the first time since February 2007.  

That day, our visitors from Wearside won 2-0, with Anthony Stokes and David Connolly the scorers. The last time we were successful against Sunderland in a home game was in 2004.  Current Argyle assistant manager, Paul Wotton, scored one and Stevie Crawford the other in a 2-1 win on August 21.

In terms of personnel for us, Gary Sawyer was the only player at the club then, who is still on the books now, however he played no part in that tie and was a spectator from the bench.

 In 2007, both Argyle and Sunderland were in the Championship, now they are set to square off one division further down the pyramid, in Sky Bet League One.

Sunderland are unbeaten in eight in all competitions, since losing 2-1 to Burton in September, and have not conceded a goal in their last three league, scoring six in that period.

Sunderland, after 15 league games, have 30 goals, bettered only by Peterborough who have 33 but have played a game more.  They are equally adept at keeping the ball out of their own net, having lost just 13 goals all season, beaten only by Blackpool.  

Josh Maja is their main goal threat with nine already, winger Chris Maguire a close second with five.

The Pilgrims, meanwhile, should not be underestimated after a recent resurgence in form following two wins against Gillingham and Scunthorpe, and seven goals to boot.

The Greens, especially at Home Park, have impressed against recently relegated sides. We beat Blackburn 2-0 in February, then Rotherham 2-1 a month later, toward the end of last season. Wigan Athletic were the only promoted side to visit Home Park in 17/18 and leave with maximum points, winning 3-1. Graham Carey the Argyle scorer.

In terms of the players who are unlikely to feature, or not at all, that list includes some key players for the visitors: Duncan Watmore has been a long term-absentee after suffering a re-occurrence of ACL damage first sustained in December 2016.

Summer signing from Bradford, Charlie Wyke, was stretchered off when Sunderland last lost a game, that was in September and is likely to remain out until the new year. Midfielder Ethan Robson looks set to miss out as a minor knock is now worse than first feared and Max Power will serve the last of his four-game suspension.

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