safc.com looks ahead to season opener.
Sunderland will look to improve on a recent dry spell against Fulham at the Stadium of Light in their Barclays Premier League opener on Saturday.
The Black Cats have failed to record a home win over the Cottagers since 2009, when Kenwyne Jones bagged the only goal.
However, they did prevail at Craven Cottage last year, winning 3-1 thanks to goals from Steven Fletcher, Carlos Cuellar and Stephane Sessegnon.
Paolo Di Canio has added 10 new players over the course of the transfer window and the majority of them are set for their first Black Cats appearances.
Fulham have also been shrewd in the transfer window adding five players including Dutch international goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg and QPR midfielder Adel Taarabt on loan.
The Cottagers threw away a two-goal lead on their last visit to the SoL and, despite their good recent record on Wearside, the Whites have only won one of their seven previous top-flight away games on the opening day.
Sunderland are unbeaten in their last four opening day games, though they have drawn three of them.
Jozy Altidore bagged three goals for USA in midweek and he’ll hope to break down a defence that hasn’t conceded on their last four opening-day games.
Saturday’s match will be the 59th meeting between the two sides with Sunderland proving the most successful with 23 wins compared to Fulham’s 17. There have been 18 draws.