SUNDERLAND have announced a second pre-season friendly in the North of England this summer, with the club set to visit Championship side Burnley on Saturday, July 30 (3pm kick-off).
News of the Turf Moor game comes hots on the heels of the announcement that the Black Cats’ first pre-season game will be against York City at Bootham Crescent on Wednesday, July 13 (7.30pm) and it means that the pre-season fixture list is now beginning to take shape.
The games are set to be announced over the course of the next few days, but there have been almost as many rumours about Sunderland’s itinerary among fans as there have been about the identities of footballers behind super-injunctions.
Another fixture in the North of England is currently being lined up, there are plans for a couple of games north of the border and a pre-season tour in northern Europe is also on the cards.
But the club has yet to finalise the details of those games and will not confirm them until they are certain to go ahead.
Meanwhile, the early announcement of the York and Burnley games gives Sunderland’s fans the chance to plan their schedules well in advance.
The first fixture, against Blue Square Premier outfit York will take place a week after Sunderland return to pre-season training.
The Minstermen, managed by ex-Nottingham Forest midfielder Gary Mills, finished just outside the play-offs this season and will be hoping to improve on that performance next term and mastermind a return to the Football League.
The Burnley game will be the first time Sunderland have faced the Clarets since they were relegated at the end of the 2009/10 Premier League campaign.
Eddie Howe’s men also narrowly missed out on the play-offs after a surge up the table late in the season and they, too, will hope to go one better in the forthcoming campaign.
The matches – either side of the training camp in Europe – should provide ideal preparation for Steve Bruce’s men, with the manager not a fan of long-haul trips in pre-season.