The English domestic season starts in earnest with action on Friday, 4th August. This is the big kick off in the second tier, the Championship and Sunderland will begin their campaign to try and get back up to the top flight. The Mackems disappointed hugely last term in the Premier League, failing to find the goals they needed to stay afloat. Manager David Moyes has departed the club and Simon Grayson is the man charged with getting the Wearside club back to the Premier League.
Sunderland gets a league opener against Derby who had a disappointing season last term. They were pegged to make a run at the play offs in the division at least, but they fell quite a way short of that and after a couple of big summer signings coming into the club, they will be hoping for better. But Sunderland have been rebuilding over the summer as well of course and this likely won’t be an easy start to the new season from the Rams out on the road. Sunderland are 13/10 to win the game at home, with Derby at 2/1. Decent prices there to get stuck into.
So this is the start of the new season and no direct form to look at from either of them. In the summer transfer market, they have brought in James Vaughan from Bury, Aiden McGeady from Everton and Jason Steele from Blackburn on contracts. They have loaned in Lewis Grabban from Bournemouth as well. But it is pretty much how they were last season, without Jermain Defoe who has gone to Bournemouth on a free transfer. He was their only source of goals last season, so who will step up to replace him? That is the big question for the Mackems back in the second tier. Regardless they should find goals easier to come by at this level.
You can look at least at Derby’s Championship form from last season’s as somewhere to start. They finished ninth in the league because of inconsistencies. While they did have a strong middle part of the season the second half overall was a huge disappointment because at the start of 2017 they looked a decent play-off candidate. They were solid enough on home soil, losing just four league games, but away from home they struggled for resistance and lost eleven of their 23 road games and they really struggled to score goals away from Pride Park. Thir big captures over the summer have been Liverpool’s Andre Wisdom and Hull’s Tom Huddlestone who will bring in a good bit of experience.
The head to head is quite telling in this one. Sunderland are on a ten match unbeaten streak against Derby and the last time that the two of them were paired up in the Championship, Sunderland won both games. On top of that, the Black Cats have kept four clean sheets in their last six against the Rams and they haven’t lost on home soil to Derby since back in 1991 in the old Division 1. They have gone W9 D6 L0 at the Stadium of Light against Derby since that loss. It suggests that they aren’t going to lose this one.
Top Betting Tips
Sunderland should be strong enough on home soil. Back both teams NOT to score at a price of even money at Bet365 as there have been a flurry of clean sheets in recent meetings between these two. But if you count in the head to head winning record, then things are in favour of Sunderland and a 3/1 quote on them at bet365 to win to nil is going to be hard to pass up.