The time is upon us. This summer hasn’t been as painfully devoid of football as most, but the World Cup doesn’t quite satisfy the appetite for club football. So here are my opening day predictions. Tell me I’m wrong. I dare you.
Sunderland kick off the new season at home to last season’s overachievers Birmingham. I’m going for Sunderland to win this one 3-1. I don’t think Birmingham can emulate the form they showed last season, which was built predominantly upon a strong record at St. Andrews. Joe Hart’s return to Manchester City could prove to be a huge blow to Alex McLeish, and he will hope that Ben Foster can emulate the form he showed when given regular first-team football at Watford. Nikola Žigić doesn’t look like the goalscorer Birmingham really need, and they may struggle at the back against the pace of Sunderland’s attack.
Darren Bent – Steve Bruce will be hoping the man that scored 24 Premiership goals last season can overcome the injury that kept him out of England’s friendly against Hungary on Wednesday night
Sebastian Larsson – The Swede doesn’t contribute much in terms of goals, but can pull the strings from midfield if given the space
Sunderland 3 – 1 Birmingham
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