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sunderland 1000x500Burnley travel to the Stadium of Light tomorrow to face Sunderland in the FA Cup 3rd round, just a week after we beat them 4-1 in what was our biggest ever home victory in the Premier League.

It’s a not only a different game in a different competition but it is more than likely that we won’t be close to the same 22 players on the pitch at kick off time as was the case last week.

Sean Dyche has already hinted, as he always does for cup games, that we can expect changes although he doesn’t go to the extremes in the FA Cup as he does in the League Cup. In last season’s 3rd round tie at Middlesbrough he made four changes, and one of them was George Boyd returning from injury. Two seasons ago when we were last in the Premier League he made just two changes for the home game against Spurs and one of those was forced on him with Jason Shackell unavailable.

I love the FA Cup but it is not a competition that has brought much success in recent years. We did beat Port Vale and Burton to reach the 5th round in 2010/11 before going out at West Ham, but last season’s win at Middlesbrough was our only win since.

West Ham scored five against us that night in 2011, a year later we conceded four at Norwich and we’ve since conceded four in defeats at Southampton and Tottenham, the last of them after we’d taken a 2-0 lead.

This will certainly be our first ever FA Cup tie at the Stadium of Light. The last time we played Sunderland in a cup competition was in 1979. After repeated postponements we drew 1-1 at home against them before going on to beat them 3-0 at Roker Park.

Looking forward to tomorrow, it is almost impossible to look at any potential team news although there is every chance the second coming of Joseph could be at a stadium where he has far more enemies than friends. Barton is a former Newcastle player and that, above anything else, will ensure he gets a hostile reception tomorrow from the home support should he, as expected, play a part.

As for Sunderland; they will definitely be without Victor Anichebe, injured in the league game last week, but they have good news in that Belgian Jason Denayer is fit again and should play.

Billy Jones is also a doubt and Moyes said: “We just about have eleven, but there is a question mark against Billy Jones who is feeling his hamstring a little bit. We’ll have to assess him too and that could take the numbers down a bit further.”

With Steven Pienaar also missing out it could be that all of Joel Asoro, George Honeyman, Josh Maja, Elliott Embleton, Ethan Robson and Michael Ledger will be involved with the squad.

One player definitely available for Sunderland is Jermain Defoe, last week’s goalscorer against us. They’ve turned down an offer this week from West Ham and slapped a not for sale sign on him. Sunderland are undoubtedly a far bigger threat with him than without him.

Tomorrow will be our sixth visit to the Stadium of Light and we’ll be looking for our first ever win there. The only time we’ve got anything was on our first visit back in the 2003/04 season when we earned a 1-1 draw with Graham Branch scoring our goal.

The last time we won at Sunderland was that FA Cup tie in 1979 at Roker when the goals were scored by Paul Fletcher, Billy Ingham and Steve Kindon.

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