Take a closer look at the latest stats and facts in our match preview ahead of Town's Sky Bet League One clash with Sunderland AFC.
Sunderland AFC have enjoyed a solid season so far in Sky Bet League One as they chase promotion back to the Sky Bet Championship. With Lee Johnson through the doors and a number of new signings, the Black Cats are looking up towards the top end of the table.
With two wins and two draws in their last five league fixtures, the away side are experiencing a turn in results as they look to add more points on the board. Town expects a tough test from the former Premier League outfit who have Charlie Wyke leading the line - a striker with 13 goals to his name this term.
Name: Sunderland Association Football Club
Nickname: The Black Cats
Founded: 1879 (142 years ago)
Chairman/owner: Stewart Donald
Biggest win: 9-1 v Newcastle United, Division One, 5th December 1908
Biggest loss: 0-8 v Southampton, Premier League, 18 October 2014
Highest league finish: Division One champions: 1891-92, 1892-93, 1894-95, 1901-02, 1912-13, 1935-36
Read David Longwell's thoughts ahead of the fixture...
David Longwell previews Town's clash with Sunderland AFC
The Manager - Lee Johnson
A former midfielder, Lee Johnson spent a number of years in the Sky Bet Football League with a number of clubs - most notably Yeovil Town and Bristol City.
A young Manager in terms of age, the 39-year-old first ventured into management when he took the reigns at Oldham Athletic in 2013. Stints at Barnsley and Bristol City came before taking the hot seat at Sunderland.
On 5 December 2020, Johnson was appointed the new head coach of Sunderland following the departure of Phil Parkinson. He signed a two and a half year deal with the club.
Goalkeeper - Lee Burge
Lee Burge joined Sunderland AFC in July 2019 ahead of the club’s second season in League One.
The experienced stopper, who left Coventry City following the conclusion of the 2018-19 season, signed a two-year deal at the Stadium of Light. He made his debut for Sunderland in August 2019, as the Lads defeated Accrington Stanley in the Carabao Cup.
Defender - Dion Sanderson
Sanderson moved to Wearside from Wolverhampton Wanderers in October 2020 on a season-long loan.
He is a versatile defender, who can play on the right or in a central role. He made his debut in an EFL Cup tie against Aston Villa in October 2019 and joined Cardiff City in January 2020 on a six-month loan deal.
During his time at the Cardiff City Stadium, Sanderson made 10 first-team appearances.
Midfielder - Lynden Gooch
Lynden joined the Academy on a two-year scholarship in summer 2012 before turning professional.
The USA international made his first-team debut as a substitute against Exeter City in the Capital One Cup in August 2015. He joined Doncaster Rovers on loan in January 2016 before later putting pen to paper on a three-year contract, keeping him on Wearside until 2019.
The USA international has since gone on to become a regular member of the first-team squad.
Forward - Charlie Wyke
Charlie Wyke started his career at Middlesbrough, progressing through the ranks and scoring regularly at every level before earning a professional contract.
Wyke joined Sunderland ahead of the 2018-19 season and has since established himself as one of the team's most important players. He scored his first goal for the club against Oxford United in September 2018.
League stats panel:
Referee: Will Finnie
Assistants: Christopher Husband and John Flynn
Fourth Official: Peter Wright