What the Premier League schedule could tell us about Sunderland's 2021/22 League One fixtures
The 2021/22 Premier League fixture schedule has been released today – and it could have some knock-on effects for Sunderland.
The Black Cats will have to wait until next Thursday (June 24) to discover their fixtures for the new League One campaign, in what will be Lee Johnson’s first full season in charge of the club.
But we may have already had an early indication as to where Sunderland will be playing on some key dates.
Newcastle United’s fixtures for the 2021/22 season were released today and, traditionally, the Magpies and the Wearsiders will not play at home on the same weekends.
With fans set to return to games in some capacity this season – with discussions ongoing about what level of crowd will be permitted for the start of the new campaign – that trend is likely to continue.
So with that in mind, where could Sunderland be playing on some key fixture dates?
League One opening day
League One is set to begin on the weekend of August 7, with the Premier League due to kick-off seven days later.
Newcastle United will begin their season at home to West Ham United on August 14, meaning Sunderland are likely to be away that weekend.
Traditionally, clubs play home and away across the first two weekends of the campaign – so could that hint that the Black Cats will be at home on the opening day?
Sunderland didn’t play on Boxing Day last season, with their scheduled home fixture against Hull City postponed after a COVID-outbreak at the Academy of Light.
But this season, it looks like the Wearsiders will be on the road for the festive fixture – given that Newcastle will host Manchester United on December 26.
New Years’ Day
The Black Cats could, however, be at home on New Years’ Day.
Sunderland haven’t played at home on January 1 since their drop into League One this season, but look likely to this season given Newcastle are at Southampton on the same day.
Last day of the season
Sunderland could also be on the road for the final day of the season.
The League One campaign is scheduled to end on the weekend of April 30 – with Newcastle set to face Liverpool at St James’s Park on the same day.