Sunderland and Portsmouth's stunning 40,000 attendance set to be the FOURTH highest in England

Sunderland and Portsmouth look set to face-off in front of another bumper crowd - with 40,000 fans expected to watch their League One clash this weekend.

By Mark Donnelly
Friday, 26 April, 2019, 06:06
Sunderland and Portsmouth are set for another bumper crowd

The Black Cats welcome Pompey to the Stadium of Light in a game which will prove crucial to both club's aspirations of a top two finish.

And the promotion-chasing duo look set to be cheered on by a crowd of over 40,000 - which will comfortably set the record as the biggest League One attendance of 2019 thus far.

Sunderland executive director Charlie Methven revealed the anticipated crowd - which he feels will only be bettered by a handful of Premier League clubs.

And Methven, a year on from he and Stewart Donald's takeover of the club, hopes that fans are appreciating the new-look match day experiences - which are a 'world away' from what they were 12 months ago.

"Looking at early ticket returns, the match should see a crowd of around 40,000 in the Stadium of Light, a number that will probably only be bettered at Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham’s home games," he explained, speaking to safc.com.

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"That is the size of the occasion, and it is truly a privilege to be a part of it.

"I hope that you feel that way too, and feel that matches at the SoL are again starting to feel like real sporting occasions and a great day out.

"For the home game against Doncaster on Good Friday, we had the Beacon of Light and the Fanzone operating at full blast before the game. Hours of activities for children and adults, and both were packed out.

"Inside the stadium, the continuing programme of improvements to the Roker End are starting to bear fruit, which is a real credit to the volunteer fans and the club staff who have made that happen.

"I thought that the atmosphere was the best we have seen all season – it’s a world away from what I saw when I came to the last home game of last season against Wolves."

This will be the second time in a matter of weeks that Sunderland and Portsmouth have attracted a record-breaking crowd, with the pair having broken the Checkatrade Trophy attendance record in March when the two sides were backed by 85,021 supporters at Wembley.