Sunderland football club was founded in 1879 and play their home games at the Stadium of Light. The stadium has a capacity of 48707 and is the 4th largest stadium in the Premier League after Old Trafford (Man Utd), Emirates Stadium (Arsenal) and Etihad Stadium (Manchester City). Sunderland moved to the Stadium of Light in 1997, they had previously played at Roker Park, which had been Sunderland's home since 1897. The name, Stadium of Light, was chosen as a tribute to the region's mine workers and its industrial heritage. The current manager is David Moyes, who has previously managed Manchester Utd and Everton in the Premier League. Sunderland's nickname is 'The Black Cats', and the team plays in red and white striped shirts, black shorts and black socks.
During the Premier League, the highest Sunderland have finished is 7th place, which they managed in 1999-2000 and 2000-01. However, 'The Black Cats' have won the English league title six times, but the last was a long time ago: 1935-36. A little more recently, in 1973, they won the FA Cup, for the second time, against the strongest team in England at the time, Leeds United. It was a famous victory because Sunderland were in the second division.
In 1999-2000, Sunderland striker, Kevin Philllips, scored 30 Premier League goals to win the Premier League Golden Boot and European Golden Boot awards.
Sunderland’s strongest rivalry is with Newcastle, which is another city very close to Sunderland in the North East of England. The derby between Newcastle Utd and Sunderland was first played in 1888. It has been played 154 times, with Sunderland winning 52 times and Newcastle 53. In 2015/16, Sunderland and Newcastle were both fighting to avoid relegation and the four points that Sunderland won against their rival helped Sunderland survive but meant Newcastle were relegated to the Championship. The match between the two teams is called 'The Tyne and Wear Derby' after the rivers that flow through the cities: The Tyne (Newcastle) and The Wear (Sunderland).
In 2015/16, Sunderland finished 17th in the Premier League and successfully avoided relegation after some good results towards the end of the season under the, then, manager, Sam Allardyce. Sunderland’s top scorer was Jermain Defoe, with 15 goals. Sunderland will need more goals from their strikers if they want to survive another season in the Premier League. Moyes will be looking to improve his squad in the transfer market and Sunderland fans will be hoping that they can avoid a fight against relegation this season.
Prediction 2016/17: 19th
Key player: Jermain Defoe
Did you know.....?
Sunderland's biggest ever victory was 9-1 against local rivals Newcastle Utd!
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