Season preview Sunderland 2016-17

How are Sunderland still in the Premier League? In each of their last four seasons, the Black Cats have failed to accumulate 40 points but have still somehow managed to survive the cut. Part of the problem comes down to the lack of stability at the club. Sunderland have made as many as 5 managers at their helm in these past four seasons but none of them were able to neither adapt nor given a long run with the club. 

Sunderland’s search for stability has led them to former Everton and Manchester United boss, David Moyes. The manager himself has had a tough time since leaving Everton in 2013. At Sunderland though he has a chance to redeem himself. The goal for the club will nothing more than survival however the performances on route to safety will be crucial for Moyes.

Sunderland 2016-17 Season Preview

David Moyes - Sunderland manager

David Moyes (Pic Cou:

The rise and fall of David Moyes from the “Chosen One” at United to the “Sacked One” at Real Sociedad is a story in itself. The 53 year old Scottish manager was handpicked by Sir Alex Ferguson to succeed him at United. While the decision came as a surprise, the credentials of Moyes were never questioned. Moyes who had spend over a decade with Everton helped the Toffees move up from a mid table club to a European regular.

United ended the season in 7th place but Moyes was already sacked by then. The task at hand for Moyes at Sunderland [1] is a daunting one. The Black Cats have struggled for consistency and mid season managerial changes have become a norm. Sam Allardyce whom came in last season did provide them with a scope for hope but was lured in by the England national team this summer.

The Squad at Moyes’s disposal is worse than the one that finished last season. Several key players including Emanuele Giaccherini, Steven Fletcher, Younes Kaboul have all been either released or sold by the club before the arrival of Moyes. The worrying aspect of this is the fact that the club haven’t replaced any of the outgoing players well enough.

Sunderland look to be heading for a very difficult season and will need some of the luck that has favored them over the past few seasons to come to their aid.

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Squad Breakdown

Vito Mannone has had his up and downs with Sunderland. The Italian was the club’s player of the year in 2013/14 but was dropped after a string of bad performances in 2014/15. He won his place back last season and played a big part in helping Sunderland survive the cut. The Italian was set to start the season on goal but a elbow fracture two games into the season has sidelined him for atleast three months.

The injury to Mannone presents 22 year old Jordan Pickford the task of guarding the Sunderland goal. The youngster had been touted as a future England International by Allardyce so the onus is now on Pickford to stepup. New signings Paddy McNair & Papy Djilobodji look to be the clubs new center back pairing with captain John Oshea set to play as back-up.

Donald Love and Patrick Van Aanholt will provide the defensive cover at right and left back respectively. Lamine Kone is another defensive option having fended off Everton’s attempts at signing him. It has to be seen whether Moyes will put Kone in ahead of the defense or put him a 3 man central defensive partnership.

Midfield & Strikers

Sunderland do have good mixture of youth and experience in midfield. Adnan Januzaj having been loaned out of United by Mourinho will have pretty to prove. Moyes has been known promote young talent and as expected has given the likes of Lynden Gooch and Ducan Watmore plenty of chances to impress so far. Jack Rodwell well be the key in midfield with experienced players such as Steven Pienaar, Lee Cattermole and Sebastian Larsson set to serve as back-ups to the youngsters.

The arrival of Victor Anichebe [2] will definitely boost their goal scoring options. Jermaine Defoe and Fabio Borini are the other established strikers in their ranks.

Sunderland 2016-17 Season Prediction

Sunderland as expected have gotten off to a pretty disappointing start to the season. The fought till the end against City in their opener but were undone by a Paddy McNair own goal. They suffered a defeat against Middlesbrough in their second game but registered their first points of the season with a draw against Southampton in their 3rd game.

The international break provides Moyes with some much needed time to get his act together. The club does have a good run of games coming up and will be expected to pick up some points. We can see Sunderland putting on a good run results after the break but by the November they’ll be in and around the relegation zone.

Moyes won’t be sacked though and will ultimately guide the club to safety perhaps in the last day of the season when they face Chelsea.

Verdict: – 17th Place

Player to Watch – Sunderland 2016-17

Former England International Jermain Defoe

Jermaine Defoe (Pic Cou:

Jermain Defoe

The fact that Sunderland have to bank on a 33 year old to provide them with the goals is a problem in itself. Jermain Defoe however was the major reason as to why the Black Cats survived relegation last term. The former England international scored 15 of their 48 goals last term and was in fact the only one who scored more than 5 goals. With the inactivity in the transfer window the onus will be on Defoe to once again provide them with the goals. The striker has gotten off to a good start this season having scored 2 goals in their 3 league games so far. Bank on the striker to end up the tally of 12+ goals this season.

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Betting Tips – Sunderland 2016-17

1. Premier League Champions – 1501.00 (Bet 365)


2. Relegation – 2.70 (888 Sport)

As of now Sunderland are one of the favorites behind Burnely and Hull to get relegated this season. The lack of activity in the transfer window hasn’t helped their cause. The Black Cats though have somehow managed to survive the cut the last few seasons and we believe in the chosen one – David Moyes.

3. Stay Up – 1.57 (Bet 365)

The odds are low for a bet but looks like the best one for Sunderland as of now.

4. First Manager to be sacked – David Moyes – 17.00 (Skybet)

Considering Sunderland’s track record of sacking managers this bet might well be a good one. The club have gotten off to a poor start this season and if this continues it’s hard to see Moyes surviving till Christmas.

All Odds Courtesy of Oddschecker [3]

Transfers In – Sunderland 2016-17

Transfer In

Sl No Position Player Fee – From
1 MF Adnan Januzaj Loan Manchester United
2 MF Steven Pienaar Free Everton
3 DF Donald Love _ Manchester United
4 DF Paddy McNair _ Manchester United
5 DF Papy Djilobodji 9.5 million Chelsea
6 DF Javier Manquillo Loan Atletico Madrid

Sunderland – 2015/16 Stats

Pos Team Played Won Lost Draw GD Points
17 Sunderland 38 09 17 12 -14 39

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External Resources

[1], Sunderland appoint David Moyes

[2], Sunderland sign Anichebe

[3], Oddschecker Home Page