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Sky Sports pundit issues Sunderland promotion predicition

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Former Premier League football Lee Hendrie has predicted Sunderland will be able to immediately compete for promotion in the Championship.

The Black Cats secured their place in the second division with a play-off final victory over Wycombe Wanderers in May.

Alex Neil’s side will now be preparing for life in the second tier, but Hendrie believes that the team can immediately compete for a top six finish in the table.

The former Aston Villa player pointed to the size, stature and fanbase of the club as components that could be crucial to their potential success.

The 45-year old also believes that the League One promotion could just give the club the momentum to carry on competing at a high level despite the jump up in division.

“I’ve got them down in my top six,” said Hendrie, via Sky Sports.

“The way I look at Sunderland is, they’ve been out of the Championship, they’re destined for top flight football.

“It’s took some time, they’ve had to change managers. Alex Neil’s come in and done a brilliant job, finally got them into the Championship.

“I do feel this is going to be a springboard, I really do. I just think that a football club of that stature, that size, their fans.

“I think they’re home form is going to be so key for them this season, when you’re getting 30, 35,000 plus in the Championship. Not many sides get that.

“So I do think that is an extra man for a football team. 

“I think Sunderland will be bouncing high and I think they’ll have every chance [of a top six finish].”

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Sunderland’s fixtures were released for the start of the season, which means supporters now know the team will kick-off their campaign at home to Coventry City on July 31.

This will be followed-up with games against Bristol City and QPR in the following weeks.

The Verdict

Sunderland are certainly one of the biggest clubs in English football that competes outside of the top flight.

This will have always see neutral supporters urging the club to gain promotion due to the size and history of the club.

But promotion from the get-go will be extremely difficult for Sunderland, especially given the fierce competition in the division.

Lowering expectations and settling for maintaining their status in the Championship would be a more grounded, if slightly unambitious goal for the club.


Irish sports writer

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Sky Sports pundit issues Sunderland promotion predicition

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