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Sunderland target second Brighton star ahead of Tyne/Wear clash

| 31.01.2014

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has had a busy January already, with Liam Bridcutt’s £3m capture from Brighton bringing the number of new signings on Wearside to four, but the Uruguayan could go back to his old club before the window closes for winger Will Buckley.

Poyet has been tracking Buckley – who, like Bridcutt, is 24-years-old – since taking over at the Stadium of Light, although Brighton are thought to be demanding a £4m fee for the former Rochdale youth player.

Buckley became a hero in his first season at The Amex two years ago after scoring the goal that knocked Alan Pardew’s Newcastle out of the FA Cup at the fourth-round stage, although the strike was unfairly chalked up as a Mike Williamson og.

Last season, Brighton under Poyet knocked out the Geordies for the second year in a row, this time in the third round with a 2-0 victory, and in his first home match in charge of the Mackems the 46-year-old made it three wins out of three as a manager against Pardew’s side.

The former Chelsea and Spurs midfielder may be leading a team out for the first time at St James’ Park when Sunderland take on their bitter rivals, but the visitors look wildly overpriced at 16/5 considering their manager’s success against Newcastle and the form they’ve been in recently.

Poyet’s men have won five of their last seven games in all competitions and their only loss since New Year’s Day was at Manchester United in the second-leg of the Capital One Cup semi final, a tie they got through following an absurdly poor penalty shoot-out.

Considering the hosts have won once in their last six and are without a home victory since Boxing Day, the Black Cats have to be the pick to take the spoils on their enemy’s turf for the second consecutive year.

Adam Johnson has been the flavour of the first month of 2014 on Wearside with six goals in all, of which half broke the deadlock in their respective games, and there seems little reason to abandon the winger at massive 10/1 odds to bag first here.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Fortune