Sunderland fans will spend the morning updating their calendars as the Championship fixtures have been released for the upcoming season with Tony Mowbray’s side starting and finishing the season at the Stadium of Light.
The Black Cats have been selected for live Sky Sports coverage on opening day as they welcome newly promoted Ipswich Town to Wearside for a 5pm kick-off on Saturday August 6.
Deepdale was the destination for Sunderland’s final game of the season last time around as the Lads secured a Play-Off place in style and now Preston will be their first away trip of the campaign.
Much like Sunderland, Middlesbrough will have lofty aspirations heading into the new season and the meetings between the two North-East sides will be two of the most anticipated fixtures in the division.
Michael Carrick’s Boro will make the trip up the A19 in early October with the return game at the Riverside taking place in February.
The Premier League relegation scrap eventually saw Southampton, Leeds and Leicester City drop into the Football League in dramatic fashion and Sunderland will host them in September, December and March respectively.
Boxing Day sees Sunderland travel to Humberside for a clash with Hull City, fans will hope for a repeat of the 4-4 epic last season.
SAFC will make the trip to South Wales on Good Friday as they face Cardiff City before making their way back up north for a home tie with Blackburn Rovers on Easter Monday.
The season will end similarly to how it began as Sunderland welcome another newly promoted side in Sheffield Wednesday on final day.