It’s a Sunday afternoon not to be missed as Sunderland take on Norwich from Carrow Road.
Sunderland look to have a tough challenge on their hands as they take on Norwich this afternoon. Its been a busy few months for last season’s relegated side from the Premier League, with a number of key changes at Wearside.
Most notably, David Moyes left the club following a disappointing season which saw the club relegated without putting up too much of a battle in the Premier League. Fans will be hopeful that fortunes can change this season, with the step down in level, but things may not be so easy as the Championship has a reputation of an extremely tough league to get out of.
Simon Grayson has come in as manager and he has an excellent pedigree at this level, although it remains to be seen as to wether he has the funds to strengthen the squad which has been decimated by big name departures.
Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford left for Everton in a £25m deal, while top scorer Jermaine Defoe, who bagged 15 of the 29 goals scored last season retained his place in the Premier League by joining Bournemouth.
Fabio Borini has joined Italian outfit Milan on loan and its apparent that there is a distinct lack of firepower going forward.
The arrival of Derby this evening should prove to be a difficult ask. The Rams themseleves suffered a disappointing season, falling away from the playoff places after a promising start under the leadership of former boss Steve Mclaren, but the arrival of Rowett saw an upturn in fortunes, with a run of four victories and three draws in their final nine games of the Championship season.
Derby themselves have had to contend with big name departures, most notably Will Hughes & Tom Ince who have left for Watford & Huddersfield respectively, but that money looks to have been invested wisely during the summer period.
Gary Rowett has made some shrewd purchases during the off season, bringing in the much experienced Curtis Davies from Hull at the back, as well as Tom Huddlestone as well as Andre Wisdom from Liverpool, which will surely enhance his squad at this level.
Good things are expected of Derby this season, with the side always on the fringes of promotion but never quite making that final step. This could be their year.
Sunderland look like side which has begun the rebuilding process, which is why I have to side with Derby to take all three points tonight.
Gary Rowett’s side look a far more stable outfit, with a squad full of experience at this level.
The Rams certainly look capable of surprising a Sunderland side still reeling from their Premier League nightmare.
David Moyes has departed, but it may take a while for the ghosts of seasons gone to finally be banished from the Stadium of Light, and Derby can be backed with relative confidence to take all the points here at 2/1.
18+ Funded account required to access streams. T&C Apply. Country Restrictions Apply.