Meet the opposition | Sunderland

13th January 2023
First team
Sunderland AFC

As Swansea City prepare to take on Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, 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, where Tony Mowbray has continued their upward trajectory.

How’s their form?

Amad Diallo

Very good. Sunderland have lost just two of their last 10 Championship games to climb into the play-off places.

They also advanced to the fourth round of the FA Cup as two stoppage-time goals saw them come from behind to beat Shrewsbury.

Those two defeats did come on home soil, however, against Cardiff City and West Brom.

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?

Ross Stewart

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, and has continued to be a livewire presence.

He currently has four goals and seven assists to his name, having 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.

Ross Stewart is the topscorer for Sunderland, having hit double figures with 10 goals so far this term.

The Scot missed two-and-a-half months of the season through injury, but has been lethal since his return to action, netting five goals in five games in all competitions.

On-loan Manchester United winger Amad Diallo has made a considerable impact during his time at the Stadium of Light.

The 20-year-old Ivory Coast international has six goals and two assists in 20 appearances this term, with four of those goals coming in his last half-dozen Championship outings.