Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce says the trip to Manchester City on the opening day of the season is a ‘tough start’ for the Black Cats.
The Premier League fixtures have been released and Sunderland will travel to City before hosting promoted Middlesbrough in a Wear-Tees derby.
Allardyce says the day the fixtures are released is always a day of excitement for the fans as it whets their appetite for the forthcoming campaign.
He told safc.com: “We have a tough start, facing Manchester City in Pep Guardiola’s first game on the opening day of the season, but it’s definitely a fixture we’ll be looking forward to, you’ve got to relish these games.
“Meanwhile, Middlesbrough in the first home game is a great fixture.
“We know we need to start better than we did last season and everything we do in pre-season will be geared towards making that happen.
“There’s only a couple of weeks to go until the players return for training and then the hard work will begin.”