How the Bookies See it
- Winner: Sunderland 11/7, Middlesbrough 21/10, Draw 11/5 - 888Sport
- First Goalscorer: Jermain Defoe 6/1, No Goalscorer 6/1, Alvaro Negredo 11/2 - Paddy Power
- Half TIme/Full Time: Sunderland/Sunderland 10/3, Draw/Draw 18/5, Middlesbrough/Middlesbrough 9/2 - BetVictor
Sunderland came very close to taking a point off early season favourites Manchester City in their opening game, only for summer signing Paddy McNair to put through his own net with three minutes of time remaining. The Black Cats have had little time to adjust to the workings of new manager David Moyes following Sam Allardyce’s departure in late July. Nevertheless, last season’s 17th placed side showed promising signs of improvement, suggesting that the 2016/17 campaign might not bring with it the usual doom and gloom for Sunderland fans.
Middlesbrough picked up their first top flight point in over seven years with a 1-1 draw at home to Stoke. Boro, who have now drawn their last five league games, had taken an early lead through former Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo, only for the Potters to hit back with a free-kick from Xherdan Shaqiri. Boro, who signed no fewer than 10 players over the summer, adapted to life back in the Premier League well, but will need to pick up points early if they are to distance themselves from a relegation dogfight in the new year.
Sunderland came into the new campaign off the back of an unbeaten run of pre-season results and could have been considered unlucky not to have picked up a point against Manchester City. Black Cats fans will be hoping that Jermain Defoe can add to his goal at the Etihad and be the driving force behind a successful season for his team. The 33-year-old, who has now scored in every Premier League season since 2001, is 6/1 with Paddy Power to break the deadlock in the derby and 21/10 to score anytime. Alternatively, Defoe’s strike partner Fabio Borini could be worth watching in the betting. The former Liverpool frontman has scored against Sunderland’s other north east rivals Newcastle before and is handsomely priced to repeat this feat against Boro.
Middlesbrough have made a number of key signings this summer that show they are more than ready for life in the Premier League, it is now up to Aitor Karanka to turn them into a team that can efficiently pick up points on a regular basis. Holding an ambitious Stoke side to a draw on the opening day was a good start, but Boro had been leading for well over 50 minutes before they conceded an equaliser midway through the second half. The men from the Riverside are 4/1 with Coral to lead Sunday’s game after 30 minutes and 13/5 with Bet365 to take a lead into the halftime break. This could well be a tight game that is decided by a single goal, with the visitors priced at 7/2 with Boylesports to steal the win by the slenderest of margins.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Fabio Borini to score anytime - 11/4 with Bet365
*Please note that odds may fluctuate in the run-up to kick-off.