The waiting is finally over as Sunderland take on Derby and Nottingham Forest face Millwall in an action packed Friday night in the Championship, with both games available via live stream.
The new season promises plenty for football fans, and there’s a great opportunity to watch with Bet365, who announce a range of fixtures which will be streaming through their site this season.
How to watch a Match:
- Simply click here through to the special Bet365 football landing page – then select ‘live streaming’ at the top and select the match!
For Sunderland, it looks like being a period of change as Simon Grayson takes charge of the Wearside club, although still with plenty of potential, it definitley looks like a season of consolidation and rebuilding.
Sunderland vs Derby Team News & Transfer Updates
The squad has seen a plethora of big names leaving the club during the summer. Jermaine Defoe, who bagged 15 of the 29 goals Sunderland scored in the Premier League has departed for Bournemouth; the highly rated shot stopper Jordan Pickford has made a big money move to Everton.
We all want a positive start, but Fulham beat Newcastle first game of last season and Newcastle were promoted. At Preston [his former club] we lost our first six and were around the play-offs at the end of the season.
“I know what my team is for Friday night, but in a few weeks I don’t know. We’re vulnerable to players leaving.
“When you look at Derby, they’ve spent a huge amount of money over a couple of seasons now and they will be disappointed they didn’t finish anywhere near last season.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to get off to a good start. – Simon Grayson told the BBC
Aiden McGeady has come in, as well as £900,000 man James Vaughan from Bury but its clear that the Black Cats look a little short going forward.
Derby themselves look in better shape coming in to the game, with boss Gary Rowett looking the right man for the job.
Yes, Will Hughes has left for Watford while Tom Ince has joined Huddersfield, but Chris Martin has returned from his loan spell at Fulham, while Tom Huddlestone and more importantly Curtis Davies should tidy up the cracks at the back.
Newcastle will certainly be looking to bounce back and boost morale this weekend after what happened to them late on in the game against Queens Park Rangers on Wednesday night, as Ciaran Clark provided QPR with a point through a rather spectacular own goal in the dying moments of the match.
However, with Newcastle having been expected to win in that game, they will not be considered quite such clear favourites in their upcoming fixture against a strong Derby County side who are making a strong claim on the Championship playoff spot following a red hot streak of form.
Sunderland vs Derby Quotes
Top goalscorer Dwight Gayle is still missing from the side due to injury, and with no investment into the side during the January transfer window, Toon fans and indeed Rafa Benitez will be disappointed during this crucial period of the season.
Whilst QPR sit in marooned in 18th place, seemingly destined for another season of Championship football next season, Derby County are a much more competitive side, currently sitting in 7th, following Sheffield Wednesday’s win last night, and pushing for a playoff spot and their own promotion to the Premier League next season.
“Our target is promotion. It has to be for a team like Derby County but we also have to be mindful that there will be a lot of teams in this division whose target is also promotion.
“We have to work out exactly how we will do that during difficult periods. What do we do every day to give us the best chance of performing every match day? We want promotion but it’s how we go about that each day – Gary Rowett
Since Steve McClaren has come into the mix for the Rams, he has really turned things around, and has only lost 2 matches in a long flurry of good form, showing that they really are the real deal now and with ten wins out of their last fourteen in the league Derby fans are hopeful of a Premier League return.
And despite playing away from home this weekend, Derby are likely to put up a good fight against Newcastle this weekend, as they have shown they thrive on the counter and are happy to play without the ball, as demonstrated against Ipswich last time out.
Whilst Ipswich had 60% possession, Derby had a real cutting edge going forward, winning the match 3-0, when it easily could have been more.
This match is therefore a tough one to call, and whilst many will still have Rafa’s men down as favourites in the match, it is hard to really pick a decisive winner in the match. Newcastle are the 5/6 favourites, however its difficult not to be tempted with the 4/1 on offer on the Derby away win.
As a result, and with the match being so important to both sides, this will certainly be one to watch if you’re looking for a good footballing contest this weekend and it has all the potential to be a cracker.
Its the stand out game in the Championship this afternoon and surely one not to be missed.
Strap yourselves in.
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