Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Tue. December 23, 2025
Barclays Premier League
Dover (15-1-0, 46 points, 1st) vs. Sunderland (6-4-7, 22 points, 12th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, England
Betting Odds: Dover: 1-6 (Favourites) Draw: 5-1 Sunderland: 10-1
Past Meetings: 8W 2D 5L
Sunderland last played in the Championship in 2011/12 so this marks 14 straight seasons in the top flight of English football. They finished as high as 6th back in 2018/19 but are usually a mid-table club and are in that normal position right now. They were moderate spenders in July, dishing out £12.75 million on five players, including £5.5 million on Rangers fullback Mubarak Al-Subaie, who has been ever-present on defence so far this year. They arenít scoring much this year and their top goal-getter is American Jeremy Russell with five. I tried to buy Russell a couple years back but he chose Sunderland over us, for some reason - likely due to money and opportunity. Matt Barber is still very influential in midfield and former Dover backup Leo Creemers has been getting a run in their first team as of late.
We are in the middle of a five game in 14 day stretch so Iím fully rotating the squad today, with only two holdovers from our big Manchester City win the other day. Claudio Contreras and Sergio De la Vega will both slot in once again, otherwise weíre going with reserves throughout the lineup. The molten hot combo of Andy Broomes (10 goals in only six starts and 12 total games) and Manuel Lugo (5 goals and 6 assists in six starts and 8 total games) are up front. We are monster favourites so I donít assume the weaker lineup will hurt us. Either way, our depth is superb and our second team is likely better than most first teams in this league.
Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - C. Davies
D - Rafinha, C. Contreras, A. Torres, R. Lopez
M - M. Pedersen, E. Harvey, N. Cairney, S. De la Vega
S - A. Broomes, M. Lugo
Bench - S. Loucif, M. Mutesa, P. Secchi, Jose, A. Bamba, G. Bolis, Z. Bardi
Sunderland will start in a 3-5-2 formation that will almost certainly change into a 5-3-2 at some point. Lucas Alba is up front with Russell and Sam Cowler is their keeper. I tell the players I expect a big win today.
14í - We work possession off a throw in and Neil Cairney feeds a pass to Emmerson Harvey in the middle of the pitch. Harvey delivers his patented pile driver though the crowd and itís rifled into the back of the goal! Thatís Harveyís first of the year and weíre ahead. DOVER GOAL 1-0
17í - We are passing beautifully all over the pitch and we work deep in their end. Mads Pedersen delivers a delightful touch through to Andy Broomes and he slots a quick left footed shot underneath Cowler and itís in. Broomes is sensational! DOVER GOAL 2-0
As expected, Sunderland fall back into a 5-3-2.
37í - We continue to simply dominate with a full team of backups. Manuel Lugo sends a GREAT pass to Broomes, who was calling for the ball. Heís got a half step on the defender and rifles a bullet of a shot past Cowler and in. My goodness, what a shot from Broomes, his second of the match. DOVER GOAL 3-0
HALFTIME - Simply a sensational half of football, as weíre just all over them. 54% of possession is ours and we outshoot them 11-1 (6-1 on target). Iím quite pleased!
66í - We throw it in down the left to Broomes and thatís when the MAGIC BEGINS, as he weaves through two defenders, cuts into the middle and from OUTSIDE THE AREA, sends a howitzer toward goal and itís in to the far corner. SPECTACULAR GOAL from Broomes and that is yet ANOTHER HAT TRICK. Stunning!!! DOVER GOAL 4-0
70í - Broomes comes off to yet another standing ovation. My goodness heís incredible. In comes Zoltan Bardi and I also take out Neil Cairney and bring in Paolo Secchi, as we go deep into our bench.
77í - Sunderland are sore losers, as first they tackle Secchi hard to send him temporarily to the sidelines and now they injure Pedersen and he canít continue. Iím forced to bring on Arsene Bamba. DOVER INJURY: Mads Pedersen
90í - We are very complacent right now and Sunderland has dominated the last ten minutes. They get a ball into Jeremy Russell and he turns and sends a weak shot that somehow gets past Davies and goes in. SUNDERLAND GOAL 4-1
90í+3 - We earn a corner and Bambaís cross is headed in by Claudio Contreras. Thatís what Iím talking about! DOVER GOAL 5-1
Very nice performance.
Dover 5 - 1 Sunderland
Goals - Andy Broomes 3 (9.6), Emmerson Harvey (8.1), Claudio Contreras (8.6)
Assists - Rafinha (8.1), Neil Cairney (7.5), Mads Pedersen (8.1), Manuel Lugo (7.8), Arsene Bamba (6.9)
Man of the Match - Andy Broomes
Other Dover Notables - Chris Davies (7.1), Rodolfo Lopez (7.8), Adrian Torres (7.4), Sergio De la Vega (7.2)
Attendance - 22,976
Sunderland end up holding 52% of possession but we outshoot them 17-10 (9-4 on target). Broomes is simply incredible - what a weapon he is as a third striker on this team! Heís up to 13 goals in 7 starts, which are ludicrous numbers!
-- Crap. Mads Pedersen suffers a broken wrist and will miss the next 5-6 weeks. DOVER INJURY: Mads Pedersen (Fractured wrist: 5-6 weeks)
-- In other action, Man City upend Birmingham 1-0, Liverpool and Tottenham battle to a 1-1 draw, United beat Villa 3-0 and Sheffield United hold Chelsea to a 1-1 draw.
BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - STANDINGS
(ALL TEAMS HAVE PLAYED 18 GAMES UNLESS NOTED)
1. Dover - 49 points (after 17 games)
2. Manchester United - 41 points
3. Manchester City - 39 points
4. Liverpool - 34 points (after 17 games)
5. Tottenham - 32 points (after 17 games)
6. Chelsea - 31 points
7. Aston Villa - 26 points (after 17 games)
-- We host Everton in Premier League action.