How Sunderland's tricky League One start compares to Portsmouth, Ipswich, Rotherham and more

Sunderland’s early League One fixtures have been placed firmly under the microscope - with a tricky start in store.

Tuesday, 25th June 2019, 07:31 am

But how does their start compare with the teams that the bookmakers are backing to battle for promotion?

We’ve taken a look to see who could be sitting pretty after the first month of the campaign:SUNDERLANDThe Black Cats will play fellow promotion contenders Ipswich, Portsmouth and Peterborough in August, in a tricky start.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 26: Jack Ross, Manager of Sunderland consoles Bryan Oviedo of Sunderland following their team's defeat in the Sky Bet League One Play-off Final match between Charlton Athletic and Sunderland at Wembley Stadium on May 26, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)

But the visit of Oxford and trips to Rochdale and AFC Wimbledon offer early chances to get points on the board.

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Potential banana skin: Ipswich Town (A)

Big chance for three points: Oxford United (H)

PORTSMOUTH

Prior to their trip to the Stadium of Light, Pompey have something of a kind opening - with Shrewsbury and Tranmere providing the early tests.

But following that, Kenny Jackett’s men could come unstuck.

The visit to Sunderland is coupled with clashes against Coventry, Blackpool and Rotherham, all sides with play-off ambitions.

Potential banana skin: Tranmere Rovers (H)

Big chance for three points: Oxford United (H)

IPSWICH

If you think Sunderland’s start is tricky, spare a thought for Ipswich.

They’ll face dark horses Burton Albion on opening day before welcoming the Black Cats to Portman Road - and will also meet Peterborough and Bolton during August.

Potential banana skin: Burton Albion (A)

Big chance for three points: AFC Wimbledon (H)

ROTHERHAMIt’s a real mixed bag for the Millers, whose early fixtures include clashes with Lincoln, Burton and Pompey - all viable promotion contenders.

But the visits of newly-promoted Bury and Tranmere could prove a blessing, and may allow Paul Warne’s men to keep in reach of the early pace-setters.

Potential banana skin: Lincoln City (H)

Big chance for three points: Bury (H)

PETERBOROUGHPosh have recruited smartly and will be confident of a strong start - despite meeting Sunderland and Ipswich before August is out.

Oxford, Southend United and MK Dons all provide early opposition and represent a golden chance to clock up some early points.

Potential banana skin: Sunderland (H)

Big chance for three points: Oxford United (H)