Port Vale play their first televised game at Vale Park for just over six years this afternoon, when they host Sunderland AFC in the First Round of The Emirates FA Cup. You can find all the key information regarding the fixture, below.
Fixture: Port Vale vs Sunderland
Date: Sunday 11th November 2018
Competition: The Emirates FA Cup
Venue: Vale Park
Kick Off: 2:30pm
Referee: Anthony Backhouse
Top Goal Scorer: Tom Pope (7 goals)
The Valiants have now extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to five games following the enthralling 2-2 draw with Notts County last Saturday. Neil Aspin’s run without a loss looked to have been coming to an end when Elliot Ward smashed home from just a few yards, putting The Magpies into the lead, however Pope popped up with his seventh goal of the season to ensure the spoils were shared at Vale Park.
Following the league tie, the Burslem outfit have been boosted by the return of Cristian Montano and Manny Oyeleke, as the pair played their first full 90 minutes, for Port Vale Reserves this week - Mick Ede’s side comfortably beat Wigan Athletic’s Development Squad, 4-1. Both players came out of the tie unscathed and could be in contention to play against The Black Cats this afternoon.
One player who will be unavailable for the Cup fixture however, is full-back James Gibbons. The defender has recently come down with a sickness bug and hasn’t been able to train over the past few days, meaning he is unavailable for selection this afternoon. Besides Gibbons, Aspin will be able to choose from his full squad.
Top Goal Scorer: Josh Maja (9 goals)
Sunderland have certainly been in impressive form of late, having not lost in nine games – The Black Cats have now won six games on the bounce in all competitions, now sitting in second place in Sky Bet League Two.
Jack Ross’ side will be bolstered by the return of Max Power, who has now overcome his four-match ban for a red card picked up against Bradford City. However, The Black Cats will have to get by without the likes of Lee Cattermole, Duncan Whatmore and Charlie Wyke who are all expected to miss out.
To relive the last meeting between these two sides, you would have to cast your mind back to 1998 when Sunderland beat The Valiants 2-0 in Division One – the last time they played an FA Cup tie was way back in 1992.
One to watch: Chris Maguire
Attacking midfielder who wears the number seven shirt for The Black Cats. Maguire’s career began in Scotland with Aberdeen, and the midfielder would go on to represent The Dons on over 130 occasions.
In 2011, Maguire made the move to England with Derby County however only made a handful of appearances for The Rams, as well as a brief loan spell with Portsmouth, before he moved to Sheffield Wednesday in 2012, where he would stay for three years.
Following short spells with a number of clubs across the Football League, including Coventry City, Oxford United and Bury, the now 29-year-old joined The Black Cats at the beginning of this season.
The Scotsman has played a huge part in Sunderland’s season so far, having contributed five goals and three assists in all competitions. He can play in the number 10 role, as well as out-wide on the wing.
Neil Aspin: "What I want from the players is that they give a good account of themselves and they give it a real good go - that's all you can ask for. You don't want them to come off the pitch having any regrets that they could've done more or that they could've done different things. They've got to give it their best shot and, on the day, if they're not good enough you've got to hold your hands up, but they must do everything they can to get the result."
Jack Ross: “I don’t think the challenge we will face against Port Vale is much different to the challenges we face away from home every week. I’ve spoken enough about away games having a cup-tie feel to them, and if you’ve been present at any of those games, you’ll understand that. The intensity, the atmosphere and level of the opposition has been pretty intense, and it’s been hard work on a fortnightly basis, but that will stand us in good stead. Sunday will be exactly the same against a team that will be determined to beat us and take us as a scalp.”
Port Vale’s cup tie will be covered live on BT sport, whilst the Port Vale Twitter and Facebook feeds will be providing live updates for the entirety.
There will also be build-up to the game with the official Snapchat and Instagram accounts: officialpvfc
Reaction will be available on the official website post-match, as well as on YouTube and social media.