Sunderland will look to bounce back from their disappointing outing in the playoffs as they play host to Ipswich Town on the opening day of the Championship. League One runners-up Ipswich will be pushing for a second straight promotion. These two teams were competing in different leagues in 2022–23.
Preview (Sunderland vs Ipswich)
There is a case to be made that Sunderland’s appearance in the Championship playoffs last season should be viewed as an added benefit, but that does not change the fact that they were extremely disappointed to not be promoted back-to-back. Tony Mowbray did wonders to get the club to that point. Victories over Luton Town and Coventry City were all that was needed to get back into the Premier League. Now, the focus must be on regaining some momentum.
Sunderland has added seven players to enhance their lineup, some of whom are replacing outgoing loanees and peripheral players. However, keeping Jack Clarke and Ross Stewart will be just as crucial as any newcomer. The Black Cats have made it a priority to sign younger players. If they can succeed right away at the Stadium of Light, they have a chance to make another promotion push. Sunderland enjoyed a six-game winning streak going into their final preseason match. Although a team that included many first-team players fell to Hartlepool United 5-2 on Tuesday. Additional depth may be needed.
The Tractor Boys are able to recognize that it is more than simply a catchphrase, and Ipswich are currently experiencing the same momentum that Sunderland did after promotion one year ago. Although Kieran McKenna hasn’t necessarily added as much as could have been anticipated after finishing in second place, this is a team that had already signed Championship-level players in the two transfer windows before.
Sunderland will give a number of players their professional debuts, including Jobe Bellingham. Mowbray is most likely to go with the young midfielder Luis Semedo. This would leave defender Nectarios Triantis on the bench of substitutes. Nathan Bishop will replace Stewart, who is still out due to an Achilles injury.
Christian Walton will miss this game due to a foot injury, hence Vaclav Hladky will likely fill in. In the Innsbruck Cup, McKenna’s team played two 60-minute games; thus, his starting lineup for this matchup may include players who appeared in other games. But whether McKenna chooses to use a back three or four, Taylor and Hutchinson might each make their debuts.
On Sunday, a game between two teams with high hopes should be exciting because Ipswich is a bit of an unknown commodity at this level. However, they could like being the underdogs at this point, therefore we are supporting the Tractor Boys to take home a prize.
Sunderland 1 – 1 Ipswich
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