Last season saw Phil Parkinson’s side miss out on promotion from League One to the Championship for a second consecutive season and the pressure will firmly be on the Black Cats next term to seal a return to England’s second tier.
With a whole host of first team regulars calling time on life at the Stadium of Light earlier this summer, Parkinson has signed no less than seven players including Aiden O’Brien, Morgan Feeney, Danny Graham, Remi Matthews, Bailey Wright, Jack Diamond and Arbenit Xhemajli.
Such arrivals will be expected to help Sunderland achieve automatic promotion with the pressure increasing from fans of the club.
Predicting where Sunderland will finish in the League One table, Love of Oddschecker predicted the Wearsiders to finish 3rd behind Oxford United and Peterborough.
Love wrote: “Sunderland have finally managed to trim down their squad after plenty of shambolic seasons. Phil Parkinson likes to have a tight-knit squad rather than a bloated one and he’s now got a full squad of 22 which is an ample amount to deal with the raft of games that will come their way.
“Josh Scowen will fit right into a Parky team, adding bite to the midfield, he could become a fan favourite on Wearside. Will Grigg has looked back to his best this pre-season and if he and Charlie Wyke can hit it off they could be a serious force. Aiden O’Brien looks another impressive capture from Millwall. They just look like a team with great character this season, something you’ve not being able to say for a while. They will challenge.”
Sunderland will always be amongst the favourite in League One due to the sheer size of the club compared with their competitors. Would the Black Cats take third? Probably, but they will surely make automatic promotion their main aim having already lost in the play-off final in the 18/19 campaign.
This is a huge season for the club and Parkinson has to get things right.
Where do you think Sunderland will finish this season? Let us know in the comments section below…
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