Kind fixtures mean Sunderland must be backed to surprise

They may have struggled last season, kept up with the intervention of ‘Little General’ Dick Advocaat, but things could be looking up for Sunderland.

Although originally stepping down from his position, Advocaat has reversed that decision and signed a one-year-contract in a move that could be a master stroke by the clubs hierarchy.

They will need reinforcements and the reported pursuit of Arsenal’s highly rated full-back Carl Jenkinson alongside Leeds’ Sam Byron is the right way to be going about improving on last season’s showing.

Having finished 16th last season, Ladbrokes have boosted the Black Cats (for a limited time)to go six better and break into the top 10 from 9/2 to 11/2 – a price that looks well worth taking.

Major improvements may well be required, but a kind opening month or so in regards to fixtures will likely see this price be dramatically shorter come mid-September.

With two of the promoted clubs in their sights within the first six matches, alongside games against that also struggled for much of last season, could see the Stadium of Light outfit start strongly.

Their fixtures against Leicester and Aston Villa away, and Swansea and Tottenham at home in 2014-15 saw them go unbeaten.

The majority of that quartet came when they were going through their ‘draw specialists’ phase, and additional cutting edge in the close season can see them get at least a couple of wins from those fixtures this time round.

There also seemed to be some enthusiasm coming from Mackem supporters on Twitter in regards to their start to the campaign.

Some we’re maybe a little too hopeful…

Though others recognised that summer signings were still necessary…

October 24th brings the first chance for the Wearside club to get another on over on their rivals, while a tricky run-in will give the side plenty of impetus to get a solid grounding early doors.

They remain a 9/4 shot for relegation, but with a good start, it really is worth backing the Black Cats to surprise all in 2015-16.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.