Season Preview: Sunderland

Overall Outlook - In contrast to Stoke who doesn't spend a lot of money but gets a lot from everything they do spend and every player on the roster, Sunderland seem to be forever spending a lot of money on players who have bigger names than games. For every Darren Bent who does well after a big money move there are two Gordon/ Richardson/ Campbell/ Bardsley/ Ferdinand-type players who have come in with big reputations from bigger clubs and shown why those big clubs were willing to sell.  The squad is currently a little bit light on strikers with the real possibility that they will become lighter-still with Kenwyne Jones set to leave for Stoke with no obvious replacement coming in.

Projected Starters - Mignolet, McCartney, Turner, Mensah, Angeleri, Richardson, Cattermole, Reid, Malbranque, Campbell, Bent

In the Rotation - Ferdinand, Bramble, Bardsley, Da Silva, Carson, Kilgallon, Riveros, Al-Muhammadi

Kicks - When he's healthy, Andy Reid usually takes the vast majority of the kicks with the well-named Steed Malbranque picking up the balance.


  • Angeleri, D - An attacking right back who can has a reputation for being able to defend as well.  He was highly acclaimed in Argentina until an injury derailed his 2009-10 season and the rumored transfer to a bigger club than Sunderland.  If he can come in and improve upon what the Black Cats got from Spurs loanee Alan Hutton last season then they'll be in great shape and managers will have a nice, inexpensive option to consider at the back;
  • Riveros, M - The left-sided Paraguayan midfielder is a welcome addition to the squad and gives Steve Bruce some attacking options when Andy Reid is injured (which is more frequently than he'd like).  It remains to be seen how Riveros adapts to the Premier League but it's always good to keep track of the new guys who play on the wing;
  • Mignolet, GK - With Fulop off to Ipswitch and Gordon crocked until sometime in 2011 Sunderland's young Belgian keeper will have every chance to prove himself (assuming that Bruce is unsuccessful in his pursuit of Hart which seems a safe assumption at this point).  It's hard to know what to expect from a new keeper who is young, especially when he's playing for a mid-table team but it could be a nice turn of events for fantasy managers as whomever the keeper is at Sunderland should be inexpensive.  As long as he isn't also incompetent then there should be value there;
Rising Youth
  • Sunderland's best young player David Meyler is crocked until 2011 with an ACL injury and the fact that there aren't many other players worth writing about in this space underlines the lack of production from the youth ranks at Sunderland;
Fantasy Breakdown
  • Best - Darren Bent is the most consistent and Andy Reid is probably the best when he's healthy but since the latter isn't true too often we'll go with Bent here;
  • Best Value (non-newcomer) - Bent also represents excellent value compared to more expensive strikers like Rooney and van Persie but surprisingly Kilgallon, when he plays which isn't often, represents great value so keep an eye out for that;
  • Best Projected Value - This will be a duel between newcomer Angeleri and Frazier Campbell who should see more chances assuming that Kenwyne Jones heads off to Stoke as has been widely reported;
  • Worth Considering With Good Match-ups -  Bent, Reid, Angeleri, Campbell, Malbranque;
  • Worth Knowing If He's Starting - Kilgallon, Riveros, Mignolet


  1. What about Jordan Henderson? Great young player, has been doing well in the preseason (at least a couple of goals + assists) - but most importantly for us, has been on FK duty from everything I've read. That may be duty to Reid being hurt right now.

    Also, don't they have a lad named Trevor Carson who cold start in goal?

  2. I have a soccer crush on Jordan Henderson, and he's in my week 1 team. He should play wide left or center mid and will be a creative player taking kicks.

    As for Carson, he was hurt in pre-season. Hence MignonFilet's start.

  3. LOL MignonFilet - that is a (Fitz) hall of fame blog nickname!

  4. Al-Muhammadi is rumored to be getting playing time at midfield - should be someone to keep an eye one if he ever gets regular role in the line up

  5. Al-Muhammadi is one to watch, but was away with Egypt in midweek. He may be on the bench against Birmingham.

  6. Frazier has been killing it in pre-season, and ended with 6 goals last year, all coming near the season's end. I think he is primed for a 10 goal year, especially now that he isn't fighting with Jones for time. Newcomer Danny Welbeck will get some opportunity, but even then, Bruce likes to play Campbell out wide so he'll be getting plenty of minutes.

  7. Anonymous7:37 PM

    Danny Welbeck has joined on a season-long loan