Sunderland could hand debuts to new signings Nedum Onuoha and Danny Welbeck when they open their Premier League season at home to Birmingham.
Sunderland are the 11/10 favourites to kick-start their campaign with a win, and their manager Steve Bruce will be hoping that his new loan stars can have an instant impact.
Defender Onuoha and forward Welbeck have joined from Manchester City and United respectively, and the two will have to put their Mancunian rivalry to one side at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland have an impressive historical home record against Birmingham, winning 31 of the 45 matches played in their own back yard, and 44 from 89 overall.
Birmingham are priced at 5/2 to win, and they will be desperate to avoid the curse of ‘Second Season Syndrome’ following last term’s impressive ninth place finish.
Sunderland won last season’s corresponding fixture 3-1, and the Black Cats are priced at 14/1 to claim an identical victory on Saturday.
Darren Bent scored twice in that game, and although the England striker is struggling with a back injury, he is available at 4/1 to open the scoring at the Stadium of Light.
Bruce has been typically busy in the transfer market this summer, and he is expected to field an almost brand-new side for the Birmingham clash.
Titus Bramble is another player set to make his debut, and if the much-maligned centre-back can replicate his Wigan form, as opposed to his rotten Newcastle performances, he could prove to be a snip at £1m.
How will the Sunderland defence cope against Birmingham? The Blues’ main attacking threat is Cameron Jerome, who is 6/1 to score first. See the full Sunderland vs Birmingham Match Betting Odds market.