At the beginning of last season, I did not expect Sunderland to go down the way they did. But, they proved me wrong, and went down in the most David Moyes' way possible. Now we sit here going into the new season, and here is an in depth look at our new opponent.
The worst team in the Premier League by a large margin, Sunderland struggled immensely, but still had some standout players. Here are some of them:
The 23 year old England international had his first full season in goal for Sunderland, after being loaned out to six different teams in as many seasons. Even though Sunderland finished dead last, he kept his team in most of the games. Pickford's great saves not only got him an England call up, but interest from bigger Premier League clubs like Everton and Arsenal.
I fully expect Pickford to leave this summer, and I think he makes the switch to the Gunners as Wojciech Szczesny wants to complete a permanent switch to AS Roma.
Next up, Jermain Defoe.
Jermain Defoe seems to get better as he ages. The veteran received an England call up after years of being left out because of the amount of goals he scores. A pure goal poacher, the 34 year old man scored 15 goals for Sunderland. He was their crucial talisman.
Jermain has had a lot of rumors speculating he will be moving to AFC Bournemouth. I agree with these rumors, and I think that he will be playing Premier League football for the Cherries, as it appears a deal has been reached as Defoe reportedly has already had a medical for the south coast team.
Sunderland had 6 wins, 6 draws, and 26 losses last season, and finished in 20th place.
The last time Sunderland were in the Championship, you will have to go back to the 2006-2007 season, where Sunderland won the league, with 27 wins, 7 draws, and 12 losses.
Leeds United have won the last 3 out of the 4 times they have played Sunderland in the Championship. This stretches from 2004-2006.
Sunderland is currently a mess. Moyes has left the club, the big stars are being pursued, and many fans are needed heartbroken. I do not expect Sunderland to improve any this upcoming season, and I think they will remain in the Championship for another season.
Finally, I think Leeds will be able to deal with Sunderland pretty well this upcoming season. I honestly think Leeds will get the league double over Sunderland, as we will gain automatic promotion!