Meet the opposition | Sunderland

7th October 2022
First team
Jack Clarke

As Swansea City prepare to host Sunderland on Saturday (3pm), we take a closer look at the Black Cats.

What's their story?

Established in 1879, Sunderland were one of the founding members of the Football League in 1890.

They have been English champions on six occasions and victorious in the FA Cup twice, the most recent being in 1973 when they produced one of the great shocks in the competition's history by beating Don Revie's Leeds United 1-0 at Wembley Stadium, whilst plying their trade in the second tier of the English pyramid.

After spending much of the current century occupying a place within the Premier League, recent times have seen Sunderland drop into League One for a four-year stint.

Play-off success under Alex Neil ended that stint in the third tier and saw them return to the Championship this season.

How's their form?

Ross Stewart

The newly promoted Black Cats have started solidly and have been hovering around the play-off places. They have suffered just one loss in their last five games and convincing 3-0 victories over Reading and Rotherham have propelled Tony Mowbray's men into the early season promotion mix.

Who’s the gaffer?

Tony Mowbray

Experienced former Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray has been at the helm since the unexpected departure of Alex Neil to Stoke.

Yorkshireman Mowbray has over 20 years of management experience at the likes of Celtic, West Bromwich Albion, Coventry City and Blackburn Rovers, leaving the latter at the end of last season after five years in charge at Ewood Park where he led them back to the second tier.

A tough-tackling defender as a player, Mowbray amassed over 550 career appearances for Middlesborough, Celtic and Ipswich, scoring 36 league goals.

Who's the captain?

Corry Evans

Northern Ireland international Corry Evans is the captain for the Black Cats after signing in the summer of 2021 from Blackburn Rovers.

The Belfast-born former Manchester United trainee is best known for his eight seasons at Ewood Park, appearing in more than 200 matches before his move to the Stadium of Light.

Evans, the younger brother of Leicester defender Jonny, also spent two years with Hull City and has won 69 caps for his country.

Who are the key men?

Alex Pritchard

Former Leeds United youngster Jack Clarke started off the season with a bang with three goals and four assists in the opening 10 championship games.

The creative winger joined the Black Cats for an undisclosed fee from Premier League Tottenham Hotspur in the summer after a successful loan spell with the club last season.

A key part of the promotion winning team, Clarke is an integral part of the Black Cats line-up, showing signs of the ability that persuaded then Tottenham manger Jose Mourinho to sanction a £10 million pound transfer to the White Hart Lane club in 2019.

Former Huddersfield Town and England Under-21 midfielder Alex Pritchard is another key part of the Black Cats midfield having joined on a free transfer from the Terriers in 2021.

An academy product from Tottenham Hotspur, Pritchard has a wealth of Championship experience from spells at Norwich, Brentford and Huddersfield, amassing over 200 appearances in the second tier.

At the back, defender Danny Batth joined on a free transfer in January and helped the Black Cats to promotion.

The experienced 32-year-old has spent time on the books with Wolves, Colchester, Sheffield Wednesday, Middlesbrough and Stoke, and has brought a real nous and streetwise edge to the Black Cats rearguard.

Swans fans might remember that Batth was among the goalscorers for Stoke on the night their 4-1 win over Nottingham Forest allowed their side to snatch a play-off place by beating Reading by the same scoreline on the final day of the 2019-20 season.