'Very difficult' - EFL pundit delivers worrying Sunderland verdict plus Portsmouth & Derby predictions

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Championship news: EFL pundit has say on Sunderland’s chances this season

EFL pundit Don Goodman has been delivering his view ahead of the new Championship season.

This week, Sunderland completed the signing of former Preston midfielder Alan Browne on a three-year contract. The 29-year-old made 414 appearances for North End after arriving as a teenager from Cork City in 2014. He was offered a new three-year deal to stay at Deepdale, yet opted to leave the club at the end of his contract last month.

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Browne becomes Sunderland’s second signing of the summer following the arrival of goalkeeper Simon Moore.

And ahead of the new campaign, the former Wolves, West Brom and Sunderland striker, has been delivering his verdict ahead of the new season. Goodman said: “I would expect Portsmouth to be the strongest of the relegated clubs and, therefore, I'm looking at the clubs that just about survived.[Sunderland] They've got a new manager in Regis Le Bris, whose background is in developing young footballers, but this is the Championship, so it's very difficult for a whole group of young players to succeed. They didn't have any strikers capable of performing at that level and struggled for goals [last season].

“Des Buckingham has a huge job on his hands at Oxford as play-off winners are notoriously the teams that struggle the most. It's just brilliant that they're in the Championship.

“Derby County remind me of Sheffield Wednesday last season as they have one of the oldest teams in the division. Wednesday struggled with the physical side of things early on last year, so it's interesting to see Paul Warne move on a number of 30-plus-year-olds and bring pace and energy into the club. That gap still needs to be bridged, though.” He added: “I’m not sure about Plymouth, and that's not because of Wayne Rooney, it's just the nature of them being in the Championship,” he told OLBG.

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