Sunderland's Tom Flanagan in action against Hull City.

League one promotion odds: These are Sunderland, Portsmouth and Sheffield Wednesday's chances of going up automatically

Sunderland are set to face Wigan Athletic in a League One opener this Saturday.

Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 3:35 pm

Lee Johnson’s side have added Corry Evans, Alex Pritchard and Callum Doyle to their ranks so far with Like O’Nien and Aiden McGeady also penning new deals at the Stadium of Light.

The likes of Max Power, Grant Leadbitter, Dylan McFadzean Josh Scowen and Charlie Wyke have all left Wearside with speculation swirling surrounding the departure of defender Bailey Wright to Wigan Athletic.

That has left supporters concerned with the limited senior options in Sunderland' s defensive ranks.

Speaking to The Echo, sporting director Kristjaan Speakman has strongly suggested a departure would only be considered if the squad could be strengthened further.

"I’d always say not to get too concerned about speculation," Speakman said.

"What I would say is I hope there’ll be a confidence that we won’t let a player go unless it’s in a situation that suits the football club.

"We’re well blessed because we’ve got a lot of players who would complement squads in the Championship and League One, and so there will be interest in them.

"When you’ve got players coming into the final year of their deal, there will naturally be interest.

"We’ll work on a case-by-case basis, and be flexible enough to deal with any changes we need to make.

"But we’re trying to build a stronger squad, not a weaker squad."

But what are the Black Cats’ chances of promotion to the Championship at the fourth time of asking? Here, we take a look:

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