Sunderland and Lincoln City will face off in the Papa John’s trophy semi-final on Wednesday 17th of February at the Stadium of Light, after the English Football League confirmed the news yesterday.
Searching for a second appearance in the final of the competition in three seasons following their excruciating fall at the final hurdle against Portsmouth in 2019, the Black Cats will need to turn in one of their best performances of the campaign as they look to topple the current Sky Bet League One leaders next week.
Despite both sides carrying a firm focus on league duty, a trip to Wembley could generate potentially crucial positive momentum as both clubs look towards their promotion aspirations from the English third tier, whilst giving fans memories to savour for years to come.
Lincoln City of course have fond memories of the Papa John’s trophy, with the Imps getting the better of Shrewsbury Town in 2018 in a 1-0 win that completed a first ever domestic cup triumph for the Lincolnshire club. Michael Appleton will be hoping for more of the same for his side, as he looks to secure his first honour as a manager.
In the other last-four clash, Oxford United take on Tranmere Rovers at the Kassam Stadium next Tuesday in an intriguing clash. Once the outcomes from both contests become apparent, the final of the Papa Johns Trophy will take place on Sunday 14th March. Having got this far, each one of the four clubs will fight tooth and nail to get their hands on the trophy in five weeks-time.