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Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Sunderland: Premier League preview and prediction 2008/9

Roy Keane has strengthened again in the summer and his young side will be better for the experience of last season and the fact that four experienced Premier League players have joined from Tottenham and Bolton. The additional experience should iron out some of the lumpy patches of the season when fighting spirit was simply not enough. A stronger squad should propel Sunderland towards mid-table although surely the owners will eventually ask for a tangible measure of success like a good cup run as well.

Last season's 39 points was little more than survival money; I am expecting Sunderland to gain the best part of 10 additional points and to move into mid-table as a result.

TRANSFERS TO DATE Ins: Pascal Chimbonda (Tottenham), David Meyler (Cork City), Nick Colgan (Ipswich), Teemu Tainio (Tottenham), El Hadji Diouf (Bolton), Steed Malbranque (Tottenham).

Outs: Andrew Cole (Nottingham Forest), Greg Halford (Sheffield United, loan), Ian Harte (released) Stephen Wright (released), Ross Wallace (Preston, loan).

RECENT LEAGUE FINISHES Recent league position: 15-21-20-21-23 av. 22nd Recent league points: 39-44*-15-47*-40*

* points halved when achieved in Championship

SPREAD BETTING Sporting Index final position prediction: 14th Sporting Index points prediction: 43 - 44.50 points

Sporting Index are expecting Sunderland to improve on 2007/8 but by only four or five points, when there could well be a bigger bounce in the 'difficult' second season. A buy on Sunderland season points will be profitable if Sunderland bag 45 points or more.

Example: £10 buy Sunderland season points at 44.5 Sunderland get 55 points: You win £105 Sunderland get 50 points: You win £55 Sunderland get 45 points: You win £5 Sunderland get 40 points: You lose £45 Sunderland get 35 points: You lose £95 and so on

PREDICTION Finish 11th, 46-51 points

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