Ahead of a the 2020/21 League One season filled with relative heavyweights, Sunderland surely stands near the top of the list once again. The Black Cats were relegated from the Premier League for the first time in 10 years back in 2016-17, finishing bottom, and the club have continued to spiral downwards ever since.
After sacking David Moyes and losing many of their quality players, the club suffered a second consecutive relegation to find themselves in League One. Their first campaign in the third division of English football was a mild improvement, losing in the play-off final, before a disappointing start in 2019/20 led to an eighth-place finish.
However, they are the firm favourites heading into the new campaign now that Coventry City, Rotherham United and Wycombe Wanderers we're all promoted in 2019/20. Now, with Phil Parkinson's proven track record in the lower leagues, Sunderland to win League One odds sit at 7/1 to get out of the third tier at the third time of asking.
Striker Will Grigg is prolific at this level, although he struggled to capture his goalscoring form in Sunderland colours so far, and he, Aiden McGeady and others need vastly improved campaigns if the club are to succeed.
Plus, with rumours of a potential takeover rife, there is reason to be optimistic about the Black Cats’ future, but the immediate aims remain on getting the club back amongst the Championship hopefuls.