Cats start with trip to Anfield
Sunderland have been handed a thrilling opening to the new season with a trip to Liverpool followed swiftly by a home date against Newcastle. Steve Bruce's men make the journey to Anfield, where they will come up against Jordan Henderson, on the opening day of the new Premier League campaign. And the Stadium of Light is sure to be rocking for the first home game of the new season when Newcastle make the short journey to Wearside on August 20. Asamoah Gyan snatched a last-gasp leveller to steal a draw for the Black Cats in the corresponding clash last season, while the derby date at St James' Park takes place on March 3. Bruce and his players will be determined to make up for their derby drubbing on Tyneside last season when they suffered a humiliating 5-1 reverse at the hands of Alan Pardew's men. Sunderland play host to Everton on Boxing Day and then welcome Manchester City on New Year's Eve, before ending their festive schedule with a trip to Wigan on January 2. The final match of the season is another box office encounter with champions Manchester United arriving at the Stadium of Light on May 13, while the Black Cats travel to Old Trafford on November 5. Bruce told his club's official website: "Anfield is always a tough place to go, but we have acquitted ourselves well against the big boys in the past and going there is a test I will relish. "Then it doesn't get much bigger than a derby game on the first home date of the season. "It's a difficult start, but everyone is hard at work putting the pieces into place to ensure we have the best squad possible for when the first ball is kicked."
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