Talk about doing it the hard way.
We knew the playoffs would be tough and that is how it is turning out, at least for us.
To no great surprise, we take a narrow lead to Portsmouth while Charlton grabbed a straightforward 2-1 win at Doncaster – forget the away goals, or absence of them, since these do not count in the EFL playoffs – and the finalists will be known by the end of this week. Our game is first up, on Thursday night, with Charlton completing what ought to be a formality 24 hours later.
Here’s what we passionately hope will be the penultimate opportunity for Salut! Sunderland readers to predict the outcome of a match this season.
Please let there be one more to come. The tie is effectively at half time and it doesn’t require a great footballing or mathematical brain to work out what Jack Ross and his men need to do and what they need to avoid.
Our winner will be whoever is first to post the correct score as things stand at the end of full time or, if played, extra time. That’s for the customary mug – the Sunderland dressing room design, with the winner choosing five names to appear on the shirts shown, and a suitable alternative should a Pompey fan win. By all means tell us the outcome of a penalty shootout, but the competition will be decided on the final score from normal play or AET.
Have a go. And Ha’way the Lads: a backs-to-the-wall 0-0 would do nicely, however good it would feel if we could go to the south coast and tonk them. Then we could start looking forward to, or fretting about, another playoff final against Charlton, assuming there’s no shock result at the Valley on Friday night.