The Sky Blues flew out of the blocks in 2021/22 and will be aiming to do something similar this time around.
It has not been an easy summer transfer window to navigate at the CBS Arena, and the most challenging events of it may still be yet to come, but as things stand, Viktor Gyokeres, Callum O’Hare and Gustavo Hamer will all be available for selection for the opening game of the season.
Kasey Palmer has arrived from Bristol City, along with two left sided centre backs on loan from Premier League clubs in the form of Jonathan Panzo from Nottingham Forest and Callum Doyle from Manchester City.
It will be interesting to see if Mark Robins sticks with his trusted 3-4-1-2 or 3-4-2-1 systems heading into the season with the Black Cats producing some very impressive defensive displays towards the back end of last term.
Here, we have selected the strongest XI the Sky Blues can field with their trip to the Stadium of Light around the corner…
Some of the more controversial choices are as follows: Fankaty Dabo over Michael Rose at right centre back, Ben Sheaf over Jamie Allen in central midfield, Panzo over Doyle in the backline and finally Palmer ahead of Matty Godden in the front three.
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The first game of the season can be cagey at times, and Sheaf adds an extra layer of solidity in midfield but probably a little bit less of an attacking threat than Allen.
Palmer comes in for his full debut as something of a wildcard option having made a positive start to pre-season.
The former Charlton Athletic academy player’s dribbling ability could work well in combination with O’Hare, or replace some of what he brings should the 24-year-old depart in the next ten days or so.