Sunderland's 2016-17 fixtures: 13 things we learned from Premier League release

Stadium of Light
Stadium of Light

Sunderland's 2016-17 fixture list was released today - and it threw up some intriguing dates.

The Black Cats secured their Premier League survival in the last week of the season, and were rewarded when the new schedule was unveiled this morning.

Here's what we found out from today's release.

1. Pep Guardiola's first game in English football will be against Sunderland as Manchester City host the Black Cats on the weekend of August 13.

2. This is the 10th consecutive season Sunderland are in the Premier League - it is a record only bettered by seven other teams; Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City, Everton, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.

3. Sunderland's last game will be at Chelsea.

4. Premier League champions Leicester City started their title-winning campaign against Sunderland last season. This time around they first meet on December 3.

5. Boxing Day sees Sunderland travel to Old Trafford. It is the second year in a row they have been in Manchester on the Christmas fixture after playing at City last season.

6. Newcastle will have to wait another seven days to find out their Championship fixtures.

7. With the Mags relegated, the big derby fixture will be against Middlesbrough. The first clash is scheduled for the Stadium of Light in just the second game of the season.

8. The return game at the Riverside is on March 11

9. But don't cut out and keep your fixture list yet - all the games are subject to change by TV companies. Sunderland featured live 11 times last season.

10. SAFC fans will be looking to see if any of their games are switched to the new Friday night slot. Sky Sports will show 12 Premier League games on a Friday night during the season.

11. December looks a tricky month. Festive trips to Manchester United and Burnley, plus a trek to Swansea will sorely test how deep fans' pockets are at an expensive time of year, while they also host Premier League champions Leicester and one of the title favourites, Chelsea.

12. Sunderland will make their first trip to West Ham's Olympic Stadium on October 22.

13. The Premier League has games on New Year's Eve this year. Sunderland will travel to Burnley's Turf Moor.