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Predicting the outcome of Sunderland’s first 5 Championship fixtures as the Black Cats start at home against Coventry City

The start of the 2022/23 Championship season is just around the corner, and Wearsiders are preparing for a new era in the second tier.

The 2022/23 campaign has the potential to be fiery. The new additions from the top flight and League One make predicting the outcome of the new season almost impossible.

Several sides are splashing the cash whilst others are under transfer embargoes. And many fans don’t know what to expect with their squad’s experiencing shock managerial changes.

One team whose season could go anyway is Sunderland. The Black Cats are preparing for Alex Neil’s first full campaign in charge and it seems every supporter has a completely different prediction.

Neil took the helm back in February and took the dugout for 20 League One games. He steered the north east ship to promotion only losing once along the way.

But, the second tier is a different kettle of fish. A lot of the current Sunderland squad don’t have experience at this level and they’ll be relying on the experienced heads of the dressing room to lead the way.

Here we look at Sunderland’s first five games of the Championship season and try to predict the outcome in each…

Coventry City (H)

When these teams have clashed in recent years the atmosphere is always incredible and the scoreline unpredictable.

Head coach Neil has a lot of experience in this division so Wearsiders are putting faith in the Scot to cover all ground before the opening day.

But Sunderland’s recruitment this summer is yet to take off with just the one addition in Daniel Ballard. Supporters will be hoping they have more reinforcements in place before the game against the Sky Blues.

With over 27,000 season tickets sold already and a sold-out away end expected the three points are here for the taking, but Coventry City looked impressive last season so the points may be split in this affair.

Score prediction: Sunderland 1-1 Coventry City

Bristol City (A)

The Robins struggled last time out under Nigel Pearson. They finished 17th in a tough Championship season but they’ve made some strong signings so far this summer.

The Black Cats will certainly be hoping to have a more settled squad by this point and this is more of a game where three points may be expected.

Expect this to be another tight affair against two well drilled sides, but with Sunderland perhaps having more of an attacking edge.

Score prediction: Bristol City 1-2 Sunderland

QPR (H)

The R’s enjoy their time at the Stadium of Light having not lost on Wearside since 2012.

But Sunderland have a new energy about them this time and they seem to finally be heading in the right direction.

However, QPR will surely be eyeing up a top-six spot next season and the Londoners might have too much quality for Sunderland, especially if they make some more decent signings this summer.

Score prediction: Sunderland 0-2 QPR

Sheffield United (A)

This is definitely Sunderland’s toughest game of the opening five. The Blades will be expecting a serious promotion push when in reality Sunderland fans will be happy with avoiding relegation to start with.

Sheffield United fans are still expecting a few more fresh faces through the door, but regardless this one may only go one way.

Score prediction: Sheffield United 2-1 Sunderland

Stoke City (A)

Michael O’Neill’s side at one point last year looked destined to finish inside the top-six.

But, the Potters fell away and if improvements aren’t made before the start of next season, then this could be a game that’s for the taking.

A recent injury blow to Nick Powell could see him miss the start of the season, but he may be fit by the time this one rolls around.

Stoke City don’t have an easy start to the season and the Black Cats may pounce on this opportunity.

Score Prediction: Stoke City 0-1 Sunderland

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