There’s a North East derby in the English Premier League this Sunday, August 21st as Sunderland hosts Middlesbrough at the Stadium of Light. Sunderland just kept above the relegation zone last year and lost their season opener at Manchester City last weekend while newly-promoted Middlesbrough earned a point with a 1-1 home draw against Stoke.
Sunderland vs Middlesbrough – English Premier League Odds:
- Money Line: Vietbet currently lists Sunderland as the favorite to win the game at +162 with Middlesbrough +209 and a draw at +219
- Spread: Sunderland pk -126, Middlesbrough pk +111
- Total Goals Scored: Over 2 goals -130, Under 2 goals +115
Sunderland vs Middlesbrough – Head to Head:
These two teams last met back in October of 2012 with Middlesbrough winning 1-0 away in a League Cup match. They also met in the FA Cup that season with Sunderland winning 2-1 in extra time at Middlesbrough in February and the teams playing to a 1-1 draw at Sunderland a month earlier. The clubs have met 142 times in the past with Sunderland winning 61, losing 44 and drawing the other 37. Middlesbrough has won just two of the last nine with three draws and four losses.
Sunderland – A Closer Look:
Sunderland lost manager Sam Allardyce to the English national team during the summer and he’s been replaced by former Everton and Manchester United boss David Moyes of Scotland. Sunderland finished 17th in the league last season, just two points ahead of the relegation zone. They had nine wins, 12 draws and 17 losses with 48 goals scored and 62 allowed. Sunderland acquired Papy Djilobodji from Chelsea during the current transfer window along with Paddy McNair, Donald Love and Adnan Januzaj from Manchester United. Several players also left the club. These included Danny Graham, Steven Fletcher, Wes Brown, Mikael Mandron, Emanuele Giaccherini, Santiago Vergini, Adam Matthews, Will Buckley, Jordi Gomez, and Liam Birdcutt.
The addition of Moyes as manager doesn’t really improve them in that position as he’s been deemed a failure at his last two posts at Man United and Real Sociedad in the Spanish La Liga. He also made a questionable substitution in the season opening 2-1 loss at Manchester City by taking off the team’s only accomplished goalscorer in Jermain Defoe with 10 minutes to go. Of course, as soon as Defoe left the pitch Sunderland went behind and had no striker to level the score. Defoe had scored to tie the game in the second half after City took an early lead via a Sergio Aguero penalty. Sunderland lost the game on an own goal with three minutes left on the clock. On the injury front, midfielders Lee Cattermole and Sebastian Larsson are expected to miss the game while defender Jan Kirchhoff is questionable.
Middlesbrough – A Closer Look:
Middlesbrough was promoted automatically into the Premier League after finishing second place in the second-tier, 24-team Championship League last season. They had 89 points from 26 wins, 11 draws and nine losses. They scored 63 goals and allowed a league-low 31 against. There’s been a lot of activity in the current transfer window as they acquired Viktor Fischer from Ajax, Bernardo Espinosa from Sporting Gijon, Marten De Roon from Atalanta, Jordan McGhee from Heart of Midlothian, goaltender Victor Valdes from Manchester United, Antonio Barragan and Alvaro Negredo from Valencia, Gaston Ramirez from Southampton, goaltender Brad Guzan from Aston Villa and Fabio Da Silva from Cardiff City.
Players who were let go were Jonathan Woodgate, Damia Abella and Rhys Williams, while Connor Ripley and Harry Chapman have been sent out on loan. As far as injuries go, midfielders Marten De Roon and Grant Leadbitter are expected to miss the game while defender Bernardo hopes to be back in September following knee surgery. Middlesbrough drew 1-1 at home with Stoke City in their opening match after Negredo gave them an early lead. However, Stoke leveled the score in the second half.
Sunderland vs Middlesbrough – Takeaway:
This is a big game for both teams as they need all the points they can get to ensure of survival in the top flight for at least one more season.
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