Jake’s image says it all.

There have been many occasions when we have said “no slip-ups this time, Lads”, “get it right”, “it’s a must-win” and other variants of “it’s time to play”. This time, we can roll up all those nervous words of encouragement into one cliche and, wherever we all find ourselves in the world at 3pm, GMT+1, on Saturday, blow the ball into the net at one end while sucking it out of harm’s way at the other.

It is also time to stop comforting ourselves that survival does not strictly depend on winning. The visit of WBA gives us an opportunity but also a challenge. Norwich play Newcastle. If that match is drawn, or Newcastle win, we again climb out of the bottom three – but only if we win. If Norwich win, three points for us would leave us as we are now, two points behind but with a game in hand.

One matchday soon, the time may be past for us to talk about having to win.

For now, let us just say our need is quite pressing. This is where the players must start earning their fat pay cheques, where Big Sam must take a step towards his stay-up bonus.

Under Gus Poyet, two seasons ago, we sealed survival by beating West Brom at home, with first-half goals under the floodlights from Jack C*lb**k and – after Seb Larsson’s magnificent pass – Fabio Borini. It gave us the margin that made Jozy Altidore’s obligatory glaring miss matter for nothing and was precisely the result requested in the Guess the Score posting for that game.

C*lb**k has gone but Borini’s back. My Guess the Score entry would therefore be 2-0 with Rodwell, the Jack we bought in place of the former, and Borini again scoring the goals. Naturally, I don’t mind where our winner and/or cushion comes from; just let it/them come.

But what do readers think? Since it’s a game of more than average importance, I am posting Guess the Score early.

If the results on Saturday take us out of the bottom three – and only if – I’ll stump up for a mug. It follows that while Albion fans are warmly invited to have a go, only a Baggie predicting a result against his or her own team stands a chance of winning a WBA-related mug.

Otherwise, normal rules apply. Winner must have a UK delivery address or pick up the bill for international postage. The winning entry must be posted here before kickoff and Monsieur Salut’s decision shall be final.

Have a go. And Ha’way the Lads.

M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake

M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake

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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by - and principally for - supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

14 Responses to “Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion ‘Guess the Score’: time for strong men” Subscribe

  1. wrinkly pete March 29, 2016 at 9:05 am #

    We have seen that defending a 1-0 scoreline is beyond us so I see the need for us to score three goals without reply and then have the luxury of that cushion as we inevitably concede, not once but twice! 3-2 to The Lads.

    • Eric012 March 29, 2016 at 10:46 am #

      Time is running out for your charity to make some dosh Pete. I’ll gladly stump up a tenner if you are correct.

      • wrinkly pete March 29, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

        Steady on Eric. The players have enough pressure on them already.

  2. David Jobling March 29, 2016 at 10:28 am #

    Time to put in a decent performance. 3-1 to the lads, and hopefully a dour 0-0 for Norwich too.

  3. Eric012 March 29, 2016 at 10:47 am #

    4 – 0.

  4. Paul March 29, 2016 at 11:05 am #

    A nerve racking 1 nil win to Sunderland.

  5. Bill March 29, 2016 at 4:05 pm #

    We have got to keep a clean sheet some time so 2-0 to us.

  6. Mike March 29, 2016 at 10:50 pm #

    The Lads to win 2-1, steady nerves required all around.

  7. Phil D March 30, 2016 at 5:08 am #

    My first choice has already gone and we need a win.
    3-0 to the Lads but we don’t usually get clean sheets.

  8. William C March 30, 2016 at 9:30 am #

    3-1 to Sunderland. I’m sick of saying ” must-win ” and then failing, so this is a should-win.

  9. Steve Sant March 30, 2016 at 6:27 pm #

    Regrettably , much as I would like a WBA related mug I can’t see you breaking us down. Won’t be pretty but Albion to win 1-0.

  10. Pete Sixsmith March 31, 2016 at 11:58 am #

    4-1 with Eboue to score ……… oh, hang on, maybe not.

    • malcolm March 31, 2016 at 12:26 pm #

      Another embarrassing foot in mouth incident on Wearside. What’s the betting the coaching staff have been working on a new formation with Eboue in the starting line up.

      I hope they spend today practising throw ins.

      • Eric012 March 31, 2016 at 7:16 pm #

        How on earth can this be allowed to happen? Now I’m no computer wizard (I leave that to Wrinkly Pete) but in this digitalised, technological age these things should be easy to spot. A request to the FIFA/UEFA/FA computer to lodge a contract should be met with all the players details, including the fact he has a “suspended sentence” for non-payment of fines, fees, whatever. What would have happened if he’d come on against the Mags and headed a last minute winner? Thank god for minor calf strains.

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