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Match Previews

In Focus: Sunderland

11 August 2017

Daniel Farke will take charge of his first home Sky Bet Championship fixture this Sunday when his City side host Sunderland at Carrow Road.

The Black Cats were relegated from the Premier League last season after a ten year stay in the top-flight and have added former City strikers Lewis Grabban and James Vaughan to their squad for upcoming season.

Here’s our guide to a tough first league assignment of the season for Farke and his men.

Summer signings
Once relegation was confirmed before the climax of last season, it appeared inevitable that Sunderland would lose a host of key players.

And as the opening of the transfer window approached, supporter’s worst fears became a reality as the Club lost top scorer Jermain Defoe and young goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

However the transfer of Pickford to Everton, for a fee of £30 million, ensured there was a substantial sum of money available for Sunderland to spend.

The Black Cats board haven’t splashed the cash as they probably would have liked, but they’ve still brought in a number of players to strengthen their squad.

Tyias Browning and Brendan Galloway (pictured) have joined on loan from Everton whilst former City striker Grabban has also moved on a temporary basis from Bournemouth.

The experienced Aiden McGeady joined on a permanent basis, also from Everton, with goalkeeper Jason Steele and Vaughan joining from League One.

Sunderland’s latest signing, goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter from Dutch side Utrecht, made it seven new faces through the door at the Stadium of Light.

Classic match
City may have been relegated from the Premier League after the 2013-14 season but their home match with Sunderland featured one of the most memorable goals ever scored by a Norwich City player.

It was March 2014 and both the Canaries and the Black Cats desperately needed points if they were to stay in the top-flight. City took an early lead on 20 minutes through Robert Snodgrass before a moment of magic from midfielder Alex Tettey set the Canaries on their way to, what seemed at the time, a crucial three points.

Wes Hoolahan’s cross was headed away at the front post by John O’Shea but only as far as Tettey who left fly on the volley. The ball pinged off the Norwegian’s right boot and flew into the far corner, sending the Carrow Road support into raptures.

Canary connections
With the departure of Jermain Defoe, Sunderland had to bolster their attacking options and Grayson decided to choose two former City strikers as his source of goals this season.

Vaughan and Grabban (both pictured) have both had spells at Carrow Road and will be in contention to feature for the Black Cats on Sunday.

Other notable connections between the two sides are Steve Bruce, the former Norwich City defender who managed the Wearside-club between 2009 and 2011, and Martin O’Neill who has managed both clubs and played for the Canaries during the 1980s.

In the squad
Goalkeepers: Jason Steele, Mika Domingues, Robbin Ruiter, Max Stryjek.
Defenders: Billy Jones, Bryan Oviedo, Papy Djilobodji, Brendan Galloway, John O’Shea, Tyias Browning, Adam Matthews, Donald Love, Lamine Kone.
Midfielders: Paddy McNair, Lee Cattermole, Jack Rodwell, Wahbi Khazri, Didier Ndong, Aiden McGeady, Darron Gibson, George Honeyman, Lynden Gooch, Ethan Robson, Elliot Embleton.
Forwards: James Vaughan, Lewis Grabban, Duncan Watmore, Josh Maja, Joel Asoro.

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