Pep Guardiola couldn’t have asked for better opponents in his first Premier League game in charge of Manchester City.
His new club have had little trouble against the Black Cats in recent times, going unbeaten against the north east outfit in the last seven meetings and winning six of them.
Five of those half-dozen triumphs have arrived in as many games, so the chances of Guardiola getting off to a winning start won’t be hindered by the history books.
The Spaniard has done plenty to improve his new squad in the run up to the latest campaign, with John Stones the eighth new face to sign on with the Citizens this summer.
Not all of those recruits are in first team contention, with the likes of Aaron Mooy and Marlos Moreno going straight out on loan and Brazilian Gabriel Jesus not arriving until January. Nevertheless, this will be a formidable test for Sunderland.
Like City, they have a new manager too. David Moyes is back in Premier League management for the first time since his Manchester United sacking, replacing Sam Allardyce after England moved to appoint the former West Ham man.
Where Moyes’ start to life in his new surroundings differs from his Spanish opposite number, however, is clear to see in the north east outfit’s transfer activity.
Just the three new faces have arrived, all of them defenders and none of them first-team regulars at their former clubs.
Papy Djilobodji was never seen in Chelsea’s Premier League shirt, while Paddy McNair and Donald Love were nothing more than fringe Manchester United players.
If any of the trio are thrown in at the Etihad it will be a baptism of fire. City have scored three or more goals in five of their unbeaten run against the Black Cats and are 1/1 to score over 2.5 in this curtain raiser.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.