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Match Preview: South Shields vs Sunderland


South Shields take on Championship side Sunderland on Saturday in the Mariners' first home pre-season friendly (12.30pm kick-off).


Tickets for the match are sold out and the 1st Cloud Arena record attendance of 3,800 is set to be broken.


Shields began their pre-season programme with a 2-0 win at Newton Aycliffe on Tuesday and are now set to host a team which reached the Championship play-offs last season.


Manager's views


The match will be a particularly big occasion for Julio Arca as he takes charge of his first home game as South Shields manager.


Arca's first club in English football was Sunderland, who he represented with distinction between 2000 and 2006.


He is expecting his team to be severely challenged by the Black Cats - but is excited about the test ahead.


Arca said: "We're looking forward to what is a big, big game.


"It's the highest gate in the club's history and the match itself will be a different challenge for us.


"The Sunderland game is such an important one for us, because they are a team which is just one step away from the Premier League, which is one of the best divisions in the world.


"It will be a good test to see where we are at in comparison to them."


Team news


Shields are hoping to welcome Martin Smith back into contention after he missed the trip to Newton Aycliffe with a slight injury.


The match could see summer arrivals John Lufudu, Luke James and Paul Blackett make their first appearances at 1st Cloud Arena.


Information for supporters


Tickets for the match are sold out and there will be no further sales on the day.


Kick-off is at 12.30pm and the turnstiles will open at 9.30am.


With 1st Cloud Arena set to be busier than it has ever been, supporters are encouraged to arrive as early as possible to ease congestion.


Turnstiles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 will all be in operation, and with parking set to be limited, fans are asked to consider using public transport or parking on both sides of the industrial estate.


Anyone wearing clothing associated with another football club will be deemed to be acting in an antagonistic manner and will be refused entry or ejected.

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