Sunderland odds-on for relegation after second porous display

Dick Advocaat called a crisis meeting at Sunderland just two weeks into the Premier League season after the Black Cats suffered another heavy defeat in the top-flight.

The Dutch coach, who said he was shocked by his sides performance in a 3-1 home defeat to recently-promoted Norwich, called his squad in on Sunday to analyse where they went wrong having now conceded seven goals in the opening two games.

“There is something wrong, that’s quite simple. I have an idea about it, but tomorrow we will have a meeting and they can talk and I will talk,” Advocaat said after the loss, which was shrouded in boos from the fans until an almost mass-exodus from the stands in the second half.

Having added four new faces to the squad that scraped to top-flight survival under Advocaat last term, Sunderland would have hoped for greater prospects this season, especially after the manager’s decision to renege on plans to retire from the dugout.

Instead the north east club are now the red-hot favourites with Ladbrokes to be relegated this season, with the bookmaker pricing them at 7/10 for the drop, ahead of all three newly promoted Championship sides.

With time in the transfer window still remaining, Advocaat may now use the opening two displays of the season to try and convince owner Ellis Short to further invest in new players before the deadline, with defence likely to be the primary concern.

Younes Kaboul and Sebastian Coates, half of the new recruits this summer, have proven to be an ineffective centre-back partnership in the early stages of the season, and calls for John O’Shea to be reinstated to the starting lineup.

The former Manchester United defender has yet to play a single minute in the league this season, after captaining the club’s survival bid last term.

Sunderland’s next task is a home game against Swansea, which the Stadium of Light outfit are 12/5 to win.

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

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.