Sunderland are going to be as interesting to watch, on and off the pitch, as their local rivals Newcastle this season. Centre of the extravagance will be manager Paulo Di Canio, who will not only be good viewing, but he will install a level of discipline and fitness amongst his team which will be second to none. Di Canio has been busy this summer, as no fewer than 10 players have come in, including the impressive captures Emanuele Giaccherini and Jozy Altidore. He has also cleared out some deadwood, but also they have lost Simon Mignolet, so will need Kieran Westwood to step up.
Key Player: Emanuele Giaccherini. One of Italy’s stars at the Confederations Cup, Giaccherini looks a snip at £6.5m. He never really fitted in to the Juventus team, but will be a key player for the Wearsiders. His pace and flair has led to him being capped 15 times for Italy, scoring twice. There is no doubt that he will be a star performer in what could be an exciting team to watch this year.
One to Watch: Jozy Altidore. Having failed to make an impact as a youngster on loan at Hull, Altidore will have his second chance in the Premier League with Sunderland. Prolific is a word that comes to mind when you see his goal scoring record, with 23 in 33 games last season. His goals are much needed, as Sunderland scored the joint-3rd lowest goals last season with only 41.