Tough start as Sunderland’s fixtures reveal size of the task ahead

Sunderland's Stadium of Light stadium.
Sunderland's Stadium of Light stadium.
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Sunderland's 2017-18 Championship fixtures have been released with a home game against Derby County to kick off the Championship campaign.

The Black Cats will host the Rams at the Stadium of Light on Friday, August 4 with the game picked for live television coverage (KO 7.45pm).

Sunderland then face a trip to Gigg Lane, to take on Bury FC in the first round of the Carabao Cup. The tie is scheduled for Thursday 10th August (1945 KO), and has also been chosen for live TV broadcast.

Leeds United will be the only other visitors to the Stadium of Light in August, making the short trip north on Saturday 19th.

Over the festive period the Black Cats will play at home on New Year’s Day, with Barnsley the visitors.

The final league game of the 2017-18 season takes place on Sunday 6th May, when the Black Cats welcome Wolves to the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland's 10-year spell in the Premier League came to a sorry end last season when they were relegated to the second tier after finishing bottom of the top flight.

Currently without a manager following David Moyes' decision to resign, the Sunderland players return to pre-season training at the Academy of Light next week ahead of a gruelling 46-game Championship campaign.

All fixtures are subject to change in case they are selected for television coverage.

Lee Cattermole in action for Sunderland.

Lee Cattermole in action for Sunderland.