Thursday, 12 August 2010

Premier League Preview - Sunderland


Sunderland had a very solid start to last season campaign and looked destined for a top half finish; however they suffered a 14 game winless slump which saw them fall down the table before managing to finish a respectable 13th, although it’s believed manager Steve Bruce clearly had higher aspirations.

This season, the Black Cats have lost striker Kenwyne Jones to Stoke, and former club Captain Lorik Cana to Turkish side Galatasary. Incomings to the Stadium of Light include John Mensah, again on loan from Lyon, Nedum Onouha on loan from Manchester City, Danny Welbeck on loan from Manchester United, Titus Bramble from Wigan, Ahmed Al-Muhammadi on loan from ENPPI Club and the impressive Cristian Riveros from Cruz Azul.

Key Player: Darren Bent

Last season, the outstanding player for Sunderland was Darren Bent, who scored 24 league goals in 28 appearances. Despite being the second highest English goal scorer in top flight football, he wasn’t selected for England’s World Cup team, and should be fully fit, and raring to go for the new season.

Manager: Steve Bruce

Key Signing: Titus Bramble

More stability is needed at the back for Sunderland, and although Bramble may not be one of the most cultured defenders in the World, he had a very good season for Wigan and seems a bit of a steal (if the reported £1million fee is true). He has over 200 Premier League appearances.

Aims: 14th

Prediction: Mid table finish

The Black Cats have a good manager in Steve Bruce, and a good mix of both young and experienced players, for example; Craig Gordon, Darren Bent and Steed Malbranque, along with the likes of Lee Cattermole and Jordan Henderson. But the players leaving the club will take its toll, and the new signings will undoubtedly take some time to settle, so therefore Sunderland are looking at a mid table finish once again.

First Five Fixtures: Birmingham (H), West Brom (A), Manchester City (H), Wigan (A), Arsenal (A)

Best 11

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