Sunderland vs Derby County
England – The Championship
Date: Friday, 4th August 2017
Kick off at 19:45 UK/20:45 CET
Venue: Stadium of Light.
Recently relegated Sunderland start off their campaign for a return to England’s top flight on Friday. The team faces a tough challenge though as Derby County comes to the Stadium of Light with ambitions of their own.
The Black Cats will want to forget last year after they finished rock bottom in the Premier League. It was a disastrous season by all means as they were staying in the danger zone through out the campaign. Their main problems came with the lack of goals and the concerning performances at home. The team scored just an overall of 29 goals in their 38 games and has won just 14 points in their home from 19 games.
The team had to part ways with a lot of players after the drop. The new manager Simon Grayson has to try and find replacements in many key parts of the squad. Goalkeeper Pickford joined Everton for around 24m, another keeper Vito Mannone also left for Reading. Strikers Jermain Defoe, Anichebe and Fabio Borini all left the club.
Sunderland had troubles up front last season and with 3 strikers leaving it will be interesting to see how the team will cope. Grayson has decided to replace them with 2 new additions to the club as James Vaughan and Lewis Grabban joined the ranks of the Black Cats along with 2 Everton young loanees and experienced winger Aiden McGeady.
Derby County had a lot of ups and downs last season. They were one of the better teams but their inconsistency cost them a lot. The team was just below the play-off zone most of the time. Their worst period was February/March and that’s where they showed they are not ready for the big step upwards.
Gary Rowett won’t be much happy as he lost a few key players in the summer. Midfielders Tom Ince and Will Hughes both departed with a hefty transfer sum. Ince joined newly promoted Huddersfield while Hughes joined the ranks of Watford.
So far there are just 3 new arrivals at the team but they provide a lot of experience. Tom Huddlestone joined the team from relegated Hull along with centre-back Curtis Davies. Both have plenty of experience on the English stadiums and are expected to fill in the squad well.
Andre Wisdom was the 3rd one to join the team from Liverpool. The right back who was loaned to RB Leipzig last season managed to play 24 games for the German side last season. Huge loss to Derby is the long-term injury of striker Darren Bent and that is an issue Rowett has to sort out.
Sunderland vs Derby County: Head to head
The direct clashes between the sides favor Sunderland heavily. They are undefeated in 11 games against Derby in all competitions winning 6 of them and drawing the other.7 of those games also saw less than 2.5 goals.
Still those stats are not of much relevance as the last time these teams met was in a 2012 pre-season friendly finished 1-1.
Sunderland vs Derby County: Prediction
It remains to be seen how Sunderland will manage to replace all their departures. The team is likely to need some time to blend the new faces in while Derby county despite losing 2 of their best players last season got some very experience premier league faces which will blend easily. The Derby County squad looks ready to challenge for top 6 place this season and it looks they may get a positive start on Friday.
Derby have let just 50 goals past their defensive line last year and with the trouble Sunderland has scoring we can’t expect much goals from the Black Cats. Derby’s loss of Bent, Hughes and Ince will also hinder their ability to create and score so the expectations for a low scoring affair may come true.
Sunderland vs Derby County: Bet Tips
First pick: Derby 0.0 AH for 2.31 with Pinnacle.
Second pick: Under 2.5 goals for 1.78 with Pinnacle.