Vital Reading Season Preview – Sunderland
Nickname: The Black Cats
Ground: The Stadium of Light (Capacity: 49,000)
When we face off: Sat 25th August (A), Sat 2nd February (H)
Last season finish: 13th – Premier League
Manager: Martin O’Neill – The Northern Irishman had a fantastic start as Sunderland manager when he linked up with them in December, winning four of his first six games. Despite a slow end to the season, O’Neill did a superb job to steer Sunderland away from relegation trouble.
Key player: Stéphane Sessègnon – The Benin international has been a big hit with the Black Cats since his move from PSG last year. Some superb performances in the playmaker role made him Sunderland’s player of the season for the 2011/12 campaign.
Season Preview: Sunderland have not been as involved in the transfer market as they have been over the years, only adding experienced defender Carlos Cuellar on a free. I highly doubt the Black Cats will be involved in any relegation trouble this season, but I cannot see any massive strides being made in terms of pushing for European places.