Barclays Premier League newcomers Middlesbrough will face Sunderland in the second game week of the 2016-2017 season at the Stadium of Light. The match is scheduled at 1:30 p.m. (BST), or 8:30 a.m. (EST) and will be refereed by experienced Premier League official Martin Atkinson.
Sunderland: Team News
Sunderland will hope to recover from a heart breaking loss against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the opening game of the season. An own goal from Paddy McNair just three minutes from time condemned Sunderland to come out empty handed. The post match interview from Guardiola suggested Manchester City were “lucky” to take home all three points, which asserts the bad fortune of Sunderland against the title favorites.
Sunderland will hope new signings Papy Djilobodji, Paddy McNair, Donald Love, and Adnan Januzaj will start to deliver their quality as soon as possible. It is no secret that Sunderland has been perennial relegation battlers and new manager David Moyes will hope to change that tag from this campaign.
Striker Jermain Defoe picked up where he left last season by scoring in yet another game for Sunderland. The Englishman has scored six goals in his last 10 Premier League appearances, and one more goal will see him become 1oth all time top scorer in the Premier League.
Sunderland: Predicted Line-Up (4-4-2)
Mannone — Love, Kone, O’Shea, Djilobodji — Januzaj, Rodwell, Khazri, Watmore — Defoe, Borini
Middlesbrough: Team News
The return of Middlesbrough from the Championship to the top flight of English football will make sure there will be a Tees-Wear derby for the first time since 2008-2009 season.
Sunderland and Middlesbrough are neighbors in the English League who share a “little bit” of rivalry and the match between them is known as Tees-Wear/Wear-Tees derby.
Middlesbrough will look to build on the draw against Stoke City in the first game by winning the derby game against the Black Cats.
It has been a busy transfer window for Middlesbrough who have brought many new faces in their squad. Victor Valdes, Marten de Roon, Viktor Fischer, Gaston Ramirez, Bernardo Espinosa, Antonio Barragan, and Alvaro Negredo are the players the club hopes to ensure their stay in the league this season and coming seasons. Spaniard Alvaro Negredo impressed in the game against Stoke City as he capped off his ominous debut with a goal. Victor Valdes, who has won three Champions Leagues in his career, can provide valuable experience for his new side in their fight for survival.
On a similar note, Middlesbrough fans have a news to cheer with promising young defender Ben Gibson penning a fresh five-year contract with the club.
Middlesbrough: Predicted Line-Up (4-3-2-1)
Valdes — Nsue, Barragan, Gibson, Friend — De Roon, Clayton — Downing, Ramirez, Adomah — Negredo
Sunderland Vs. Middlesbrough: Head to Head
Sunderland and Middlesbrough have faced each other 142 times in total. It is the Black Cats who lead the table in terms of victories, with Sunderland having won 61 times against their rivals, who have 44 victories to their name.
Last time the two teams locked horns against each other was in October of 2012 in a League Cup clash in which Middlesbrough came out 1-0 winners at the home of Sunderland. In the Premier League, the last victors in the Stadium of Light were Sunderland, having won the game 2-0 in September, 2008.
Sunderland Vs. Middlesbrough: Prediction
The rivalry these clubs share will make the match exciting to watch, as derby games are played with heart, they say. Sunderland will feel confident going into the game on the account of their encouraging defeat against Manchester City, while Middlesbrough’s draw with Stoke City have done them no harm either. In terms of quality, there is nothing to choose between these two teams as both clubs have some talented players who can influence the outcome of the game significantly. It will be also interesting to see which of the star strikers will come out on top, Negredo or Defoe.
Sunderland Vs. Middlesbrough: Betting Odds and Tips
( Odds via Paddy Power)
- Sunderland win: 6/4
- A Draw: 21/10
- Middlesbrough win: 21/10
- Both teams to score: 10/11
- Both teams fail to score: 4/5
[Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images]