Stop Press: the ESPN piece is now live: Police horses of Tyneside beware: Newcastle play Sunderland in February. Click http://espnfc.com/blog/_/name/sunderland?cc=5739
So the fixtures list is out and, on superficial analysis, does Sunderland few favours.
After a winnable opener at home to Fulham, the sequence of home games at the Stadium of Light runs like this: Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd, Newcastle, Man City, Chelsea, Spurs. From that list of our first eight home games, we can look at the equivalent ties of last season and present, without comment, this record: P8 W1 D3 L4 F7 A11 Pts6.
Worried? Not if trips to Southampton, Crystal Palace, WBA, Hull, Stoke and Villa in the same timespan – Aug 24-Dec 7 – show PDC capable of building handsomely on the one away win of his seven games in charge in the season just ended.
Salut! Sunderland is prevented, thanks to the draconian approach of the football authorities, from reproducing the full list even though it ought to be regarded as information absolutely in the public domain. We can report, as we have done above, on aspects of importance since FA control over the use of the English language is not yet complete.
And we can tell you the list may be viewed in full all over the internet and in the press, where people have either paid the relevant licence fee or taken a risk that no one will object (they’d be wrong). One good source is the Northern Echo’s list, which will be entirely above-board and includes Boro, NUFC and Hartlepool games.
Enter the great Salut! Sunderland Two Million hits competition. Read about the prizes – £200 towards a holiday from Sunderland-based Hays Travel and great clobber from Philosophy Football at https://safc.blog/2013/06/attention-safc-newcastle-middlesbrough-even-scarborough-supporters-2m-hits-competition-prize-announced/ BUT POST YOUR ENTRY IN THE COMMENTS SECTION ONLY AT https://safc.blog/2013/06/salut-sunderlands-two-million-hit-party-even-newcastle-are-invited/
As I have observed for ESPN – the piece has not yet appeared as I write, but should be available soonish at http://espnfc.com/blog/_/name/sunderland?cc=5739 – the first games I turned to when the list was published were not the derbies, not that awkward home run at the beginning of the season or the closing away sequence (Spurs, Chelsea, Man U), but at first and last.
Fulham at home on Aug 17 is as good an opener as we could hope for. Eminently winnable, despite our patchy form against the Cottagers. Swansea, again at home, on May 11, is in the same category.
But as some of us have been pointing out, we may find ourselves in need of some exceptional away form or the best mid-season in years.
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https://safc.blog/ – to see what else we’ve been up to …