2017-18 club-by-club guide: Sunderland

NEWSATDEN looks at all of Millwall’s 23 opponents ahead of the 2017-18 Championship season.

Next up, Lucas Ball casts an eye over newly relegated Sunderland.

Nickname: The Black Cats

Manager: Simon Grayson

Stadium: Stadium of Light (49,000)

Club website:Last season: www.safc.com

Nearest train station: St Peters

Postcode: SR5 1SU

Title odds (Sky Bet): 16/1

Last meeting: Championship – Millwall 2-0 Sunderland (November 5, 2004; The Den)

Last season: 

Position: 20th in Premier League

Goals for: 29

Goals against: 69

Top league goal scorer: Jermain Defoe (15)

2017-18 transfers:

Ins: James Vaughan (£480k); Jason Steele (£476k); Aiden McGeady (£238k); Brendan Galloway (Loan); Tyias Browning (Loan); Lewis Grabban (Loan)

Outs: Jordan Pickford (£30mil); Vito Mannone (£1.96mil); Will Buckley (Free); Jermaine Defoe (Free); Victor Anichebe (Free); Steven Pienaar (Free); Fabio Borini (Loan); Joleon Lescott (Released); Sebastian Larsson (Released); Jan Kirchoff (Released)

Last season is one that the Black Cats will want to quickly forget as they look to get back into England’s first tier at the first attempt.

Following David Moyes’ resignation, Simon Grayson was appointed manager. His transfer budget will be small compared to many former Premier League sides in the Championship, with chairman Ellis Short actively looking to sell the club and therefore unwilling to invest large sums of money.

The additions look to be players capable of performing in the Championship, with Aiden McGeady in particular known as a threatening player in the second tier. Lions fans will no doubt look forward to welcoming forward Lewis Grabban back to The Den after he joined on loan from AFC Bournemouth. .

There is still, however, work to be done with this squad. Jermain Defoe guarantees goals – 15 last season in a really poor side – but he has gone to Bournemouth and Sunderland replaced him with James Vaughan from Bury.

Sunderland’s preparations for the new season weren’t helped after Darron Gibson went on a drunken rant about his club and teammates, and he will be disciplined.

Some money has to be reinvested to allow Sunderland to challenge at the top of the Championship, something that they could struggle to do with their current options.

Sunderland vs. Millwall (Saturday, November 18, 2017)

Millwall vs. Sunderland (Saturday, March 3, 2018)

Graphic: @ShedCreative