Sunderland bound for Wembley with nothing to fear from Charlton

Jake and and Jack capture the moment

Who would have thought? Wembley not once but twice and in the same season.

Monsieur Salut is old enough to have been at the famous Bob Stokoe/Jimmy Montgomery/Ian Porterfield FA Cup final on May 5 1973. Sadly, the promised ticket didn’t materialise so the game was watched with plenty of beer to hand in a first-floor flat in Uxbridge.

Read moreSunderland bound for Wembley with nothing to fear from Charlton

Portsmouth vs Sunderland: crunch time at Fratton Park with Charlton looking set for the final

Jake: ´Pompey yet again – but by far the most important of the five times we’ve met this season’


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.

Read morePortsmouth vs Sunderland: crunch time at Fratton Park with Charlton looking set for the final

Test Matches and Sunderland playoffs. Part one: Gillingham and Newcastle United

Jake prepares for the play offs

John McCormick writes: I had a taxi booked for this morning. It arrived late. Apparently, there were fewer on the road than usual and those that were there were being driven by Evertonians. It would have been a fine night in the city centre.

All this season and last, Pete Sixsmith has brought us his twin series of reminiscences recalling the first time he visited the homes of upcoming opponents or the first time he saw them on be that on Wearside at Roker Park or the Stadium of Light, or occasionally at places like Darlington or Hartlepool.

Before he started on this epistle from the past he had this to say on last night’s game at Anfield.

My seven-word verdict on last night’s Champions League turnaround would have been: Bottled it and beaten by Farringdon’s finest.

I rarely watch games on television – and never when Robbie Savage is “summarising”- but I did watch this one and revelled in a wonderful team performance by Liverpool. At the head of it was our former player, Jordan Henderson, who never stopped running and tackling, who set up the opening goal for Origi and who was a fine captain deserving of all the success that is coming his way. I’m not a great lover of the club or some of its self-satisfied fans, but I do like Jurgen Klopp.

Read moreTest Matches and Sunderland playoffs. Part one: Gillingham and Newcastle United

Sunderland vs Portsmouth: round one in the battle to face Doncaster or Charlton



A quick glance at our fellow-contenders
for promotion via the playoffs shows we have Wembley previous against two of the three – and it’s not encouraging. Portsmouth beat us there in the Checkatrade Trophy final in March and plenty of us will never forget the anguish of 1998 against Charlton.

So if hoodoos exist, they need to be broken. Here’s your chance to say whether and how we’ll make a start on Saturday night.

Act Four

Read moreSunderland vs Portsmouth: round one in the battle to face Doncaster or Charlton