Sunderland 2020/21 fixtures RECAP: Black Cats ‘poised’ to make third summer signing as Phil Parkinson's side prepare for Gateshead trip

The new season is almost upon us as Sunderland prepare to play their first competitive match since March in a couple of weeks time.

Friday, 21st August 2020, 5:09 pm

Black Cats boss Phil Parkinson will be hoping to make a few more signings before his side’s Carabao Cup game on September 5, while this season’s League One fixture list has also been announced.

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Scroll down to catch up with all of today’s news, transfer talk, analysis and more in the order it all unfolded:

Sunderland will play their first competitive match since March next month.

Sunderland AFC transfer and takeover news RECAP: August 21

Last updated: Friday, 21 August, 2020, 15:22

  • Sunderland’s League One fixtures have been released.
  • The Black Cats will start their league campaign with a home game against Bristol Rovers on Saturday, September 12.
  • It’s the start of a tricky run for the Black Cats who will also face Oxford United, Peterborough United and Charlton in their first four league matches.
  • Manager Phil Parkinson is still hoping to make his third signing of the transfer window following the arrivals of Aiden O'Brien and Bailey Wright.
  • Former Bolton goalkeeper Remi Matthews remains a target.

It’s fixture announcement day!

At 9am today Sunderland’s League One schedule will be released as Phil Parkinson’s side prepare to play their first competitive match since March.

We’ll also have all the latest Black Cats news, transfer talk and analysis throughout the day.

Stick around and refresh the page for live updates.

League One fixtures coming up!

Sunderland’s league fixtures for the 2020/21 season will be released at 9am today - and we’ll have all the details and analysis as they are announced. 

The League One season is set to start on Saturday, September 12 after the Black Cats’ Carabao Cup match against Hull City on September 5.

Phil Parkinson’s side will also have an EFL Cup match to play in the same week as their first league game.

O’Brien looking forward to Gateshead trip

New Black Cats signing Aiden O'Brien says he can’t wait to return to action on Saturday when Sunderland will face Gateshead in a pre-season friendly (3pm kick-off).

The 26-year-old joined the club from Millwall last month and says he’s enjoying the first few weeks of training.

"My first couple of weeks have been brilliant and the boys have taken me into the group really well,” O’Brien told Sunderland’s website.

“The coaches have got us working really hard in preparation for the season and we’re all looking sharp and fit in training.”

“I’m looking forward to getting out there with the lads for the first time and hopefully we can take what we’ve done in training into the game.

“It will be good to work on things in a proper game, it’s been a long time coming."

Cats still chasing third summer signing

It’s been widely reported that Sunderland are trying to sign former Bolton goalkeeper Remi Matthews, with claims that a deal is getting closer.

Former Everton defender Morgan Feeney is also a potential signing and has been on trial with the Black Cats in recent weeks.

It has been said that Sunderland are at an ‘advanced stage’ with negotiations for the 21-year-old who is a free agent.

Sunderland linked with Premier League youngster

Sunderland have been linked with a move for 18-year-old defender Haydon Roberts.

The Athletic claim that Roberts, currently on the books of Brighton, is a target for the Black Cats on loan - and is also interesting a host of other League One clubs.

A reminder of some key details

  • The 2020/21 League One fixtures will be revealed at 9am
  • The first fixture of the campaign will be played on Saturday, September 12
  • Prior to League One beginning, Sunderland will play a Carabao Cup and EFL Trophy tie - on September 5 and September 8/9 respectively

THE FIXTURES ARE IN!

And it’s a tricky start for Sunderland…

The Black Cats will start the season with a home game against Bristol Rovers on Saturday, September 12.

Sunderland’s first away trip will be to Oxford United - with Peterborough, Charlton and Blackpool then to follow in successive weeks.

Hull City will be the opponents in the traditional Boxing Day fixture, while the season will finish with a home game against Northampton Town.

Sunderland’s full fixtures for the new campaign are below:

SEPTEMBER

Sat 12 Sept Bristol Rovers H

Sat 19 Sept Oxford United A

Sat 26 Sept Peterborough United H

OCTOBER

Sat 03 Oct Charlton Athletic A

Sat 10 Oct Blackpool H

Sat 17 Oct Swindon Town A

Tue 20 Oct Crewe Alexandra H

Sat 24 Oct Portsmouth H

Tue 27 Oct Rochdale A

Sat 31 Oct Gillingham A

NOVEMBER

Tue 03 Nov Ipswich Town H

Sat 14 Nov Milton Keynes Dons H

Sat 21 Nov Doncaster Rovers A

Tue 24 Nov Fleetwood Town A

DECEMBER

Tue 1 Dec Burton Albion H

Sat 05 Dec Wigan Athletic H

Sat 12 Dec Lincoln City A

Tue 15 Dec AFC Wimbledon H

Sat 19 Dec Shrewsbury Town A

Sat 26 Dec Hull City H

Tue 29 Dec Accrington Stanley A

JANUARY

Sat 02 Jan Northampton Town A

Sat 09 Jan Plymouth Argyle H

Sat 16 Jan AFC Wimbledon A

Sat 23 Jan Shrewsbury Town H

Tue 26 Jan Ipswich Town A

Sat 30 Jan Gillingham H

FEBRUARY

Sat 06 Feb Milton Keynes Dons A

Sat 13 Feb Doncaster Rovers H

Sat 20 Feb Burton Albion A

Tue 23 Feb Fleetwood Town H

Sat 27 Feb Crewe Alexandra A

MARCH

Tue 02 Mar Swindon Town H

Sat 06 Mar Rochdale H

Tue 09 Mar Portsmouth A

Sat 13 Mar Wigan Athletic A

Sat 20 Mar Lincoln City H

Sat 27 Mar Bristol Rovers A

APRIL

Fri 02 Apr Oxford United H

Mon 05 Apr Peterborough United A

Sat 10 Apr Charlton Athletic H

Sat 17 Apr Blackpool A

Tue 20 Apr Hull City A

Sat 24 Apr Accrington Stanley H

MAY

Sat 01 May Plymouth Argyle A

Sat 08 May Northampton Town H

What do you make of that, then?

A difficult start for Sunderland, who face a number of their potential promotion rivals during the early weeks of the campaign.

We said similar last year, when Oxford, Ipswich and Portsmouth were early opponents - and Sunderland navigated through their first three games with a respectable five points.

April, too, looks to be a difficult month for the Black Cats - in what could prove to be a crucial month in the promotion race.

One also has to question why the EFL fixture computer has decided to make Sunderland travel to Portsmouth and Ipswich on a Tuesday evening, when there were surely closer alternatives.

But as the old cliche goes, you have to play everyone twice regardless of the order - and I’m sure Phil Parkinson won’t be deterred by that tricky-looking opening to the season.

A closer look at today’s fixture announcement

Our SAFC writer Phil Smith runs through the Black Cats’ 2020/21 fixtures following today’s announcement.

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