We know it. They know it. The Charlton game was important but Saturday’s battle of third-top, Sunderland, versus second-top, Luton Town, is immense.
The stakes are perfectly simple. Win and Sunderland go second in Luton’s place, still enjoying a game in hand. Lose and we lose that game-in-hand advantage as the Hatters will have stretched the gap between us to four points.
A draw, disappointing as it would be to fail to improve on the 1-1 outcome at their place, would at least leave things as they are, though a glance at the fixtures shows top-of-the-table Portsmouth have an eminently winnable home tie against Blackpool. Sunderland and Jack Ross have to show they can rise to what will be a high-pressure occasion.
Your task is the guess the score at the Stadium of Light.
Monsieur Salut is beginning to clear up the seasonal backlog and get prizes out to recent winners, including our own associate editor John McCormick, whose baby grandson James will one day thank him for the mug he’s about to be sent.
So we’ll offer the traditional mug again – with a suitable alternative for a Luton winner – for the first reader to post the correct scoreline, before kickoff of course, and to have a UK delivery address.
There’ll be much more by way of buildup, not to mention a look at the Checkatrade cup clash with Newcastle United youngsters. Those who enjoy a sensible flutter on football may well want to check the latest live betting odds.
For now, though, Ha’way the Lads.