Revealed! 5 key fixtures for fans to look out for in Sunderland's League One campaign
Sunderland will learn their League One fixtures tomorrow - but which games will fans be looking out for?
The Black Cats are currently preparing for only their second spell in the third tier of English football, meaning there will be plenty of new grounds and opposition for supporters this season.
And with the fixtures set to be released at 9am tomorrow (21 June), the Stadium of Light faithful can begin marking their diaries ahead of the new campaign.
Games are scheduled to start on August 4 and conclude on May 4 - but which fixtures during that period will stand out for Sunderland fans?
We’ve picked out five key games to look out for when the fixtures are released:
PLYMOUTH ARGYLE (A)
It’s an 804-mile round-trip from the Stadium of Light to Home Park - but that won’t put off Sunderland fans.
Scores of supporters will no doubt make the journey to the South West to cheer on their side against the resurgent Pilgrims.
For some it could be a new ground to tick off their lists too, with Sunderland last making the journey to Plymouth in February 2007 as goals from Anthony Stokes and David Connolly handed the Black Cats victory.
Home Park has undergone significant redevelopment since that last visit with construction of a new Â£5m grandstand already underway, and the new-look stadium is well worth a visit.
It’s Sunderland’s longest trip of the season, so let’s hope it doesn’t fall on a midweek evening.
FLEETWOOD TOWN (H)
Fleetwood are one of several teams in League One that Sunderland have never faced, and the clash with the Cod Army has plenty of added intrigue this season.
New boss Joey Barton, a former Newcastle United midfielder, is sure to receive a frosty welcome on Wearside given his prior connections.
Barton himself will no doubt be looking to pick up three points from his visit to the Stadium of Light - and the North West side will not be easy pickings.
Barton has assembled a strong squad that could surprise plenty this season, having used his connections in the game to great effect.
So while his Tyneside past will provide drama off the field, there could be plenty on it too.
ACCRINGTON STANLEY (A)
Another new fixture for Sunderland fans, and one which could bring home the reality of where the club now finds itself.
The Crown Ground is one of the less glamorous venues that supporters will visit this season, but that doesn’t detract from the excitement of visiting somewhere new.
Plenty of fans will no doubt take in the relatively short journey to Lancashire as Sunderland face a side looking to build on last season’s League Two triumph.
A classic, old-school ground - it’s sure to be a throwback to days gone by as the Black Cats’ faithful fill the open-air terrace.
Although this game might not be as anticipated as some - given that the sides met only last season - it could still prove to be an important one.
While Sunderland are the bookies favourites for the league, Barnsley aren’t far behind, and this clash could prove to be a pivotal in the race for promotion.
Naturally a lot can change - both teams have recently appointed new managers and any potential title charges will ultimately depend on the recruitment the duo can get done as well as several other factors.
But nonetheless, a win over their old Championship rivals could be a big boost for Sunderland - no matter where they find themselves in the table.
Oh we do love to be beside the seaside!
Away games on the coast are always a firm fans’ favourite, and they don’t get much better than Blackpool.
There will plenty of Sunderland fans already planning a weekend away to coincide with the trip to Blackpool, keen to soak up what the North West seaside resort has to offer.
And the action on the pitch promises to be as exciting as the city itself too, with the Tangerines assembling a strong-looking squad ahead of the new campaign.
To see Sunderland's League One fixtures as soon as they are revealed at 9am tomorrow, making sure you keep checking our SUNDERLAND AFC NEWS PAGE.