Five Sunderland friendlies arranged, with trips to Bury, Hibs, Livingston, Bradford City and Scunthorpe

Sunderland fans show their colours ahead of the end-of-season trip to Arsenal last month. Picture by Frank Reid
Sunderland fans show their colours ahead of the end-of-season trip to Arsenal last month. Picture by Frank Reid
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Five Sunderland pre-season fixtures have now been confirmed.

The Black Cats’ friendly programmes begins with a visit to League One club Bury on Friday, July 7 – and another four games were added to the schedule today.

Two days after the visit to Gigg Lane, Sunderland will take on Hibernian on Sunday, July 9 (2pm) in a testimonial for long-serving player Lewis Stevenson.

Proceeds from the match will be shared by various charities chosen by Stevenson, including Cardiac Risk in the Young and Leith Links.

Managed by former Celtic player Neil Lennon, Hibs won the Scottish Championship at a canter last season, picking up 71 points from 36 games, and losing just three matches.

The Black Cats last met Hibs at Easter Road in a dull 0-0 draw in 2011, while they also managed a 2-2 draw against the Edinburgh club in 2003, when Kevin Kyle and John Oster opened and closed the scoring for Sunderland.

Sunderland are likely to stay in Scotland ahead of their friendly clash at Scottish Championship side Livingston on Wednesday, July 12 (7.45pm).

West Lothian outfit Livingston, managed by former Crystal Palace midfielder David Hopkin, bounced back to the Championship at the first attempt by winning the League One in the season just finished.

The sides have never met in a public clash before, though Livingston did succumb 3-0 to the Black Cats in a closed-doors mid-season friendly last term.

Sunderland also have two more friendlies in England arranged, announced by their opponents.

The Wearsiders will head to League One side Bradford City on Saturday, July 22, in their first visit to Valley Parade since the dreadful 2-0 FA Cup fifth round defeat there, in the final months of Gus Poyet’s Stadium of Light reign, in February 2015.

Four days later, Sunderland face another of last season’s stronger League One teams, Scunthorpe United, at Glanford Park on Wednesday, July 26.

The Red and Whites last visited Scunthorpe in the summer of 2007, when Roy Keane’s newly-promoted team lost 1-0 to an early Martin Patterson strike. They also drew 1-1 with the Iron in pre-season in 2004, when Carl Robinson bagged a late leveller for the visitors.

Scunthorpe manager Graham Alexander takes his side to Austria for a week’s training stint immediately ahead of the Sunderland game.

He said: “It’s good to get this one over the line, as it is one we’ve had pencilled in since before the end of last season.

“There has been a turnaround there with David Moyes leaving, so it took a little extra time to sort out.

“We’re delighted because we want to vary our opposition.

“We did that last pre-season and felt it worked really well.

“We believe it gives our supporters a chance to see our team play against what will no doubt be a very good side.

“It will be a tough test for us, but we’re looking forward to it.”

Sunderland are set to have a first home friendly in nine years on Saturday, July 29, with the opponents still to be confirmed.