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Friday, July 31, 2009

In Depth Pre-Season Analysis: Sunderland

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Click here to view for squad statistics.

Fantasy Good Pick: Malbranque (6.0), A Ferdinand (4.5), Jones (7.0), Campbell (6.0), Cana (5.0)
Fantasy Gamble Pick: Gordon (4.5)

Note: The parentheses ( ) after a player name states his price.

The Black Cats only managed to complete their survival fight on the last game of the premier league, but this time it'll be much difference. With the arrival of Steve Bruce, Sunderland will be injected with much character and toughness. The only question is: how far can they go?

Goalkeepers and Defenders
Their defense was nothing but ordinary last season, but under the leadership of new manager, things are expected to change. Anton Ferdinand might worth you an eye on him now. With Bruce's disciplined defensive tactics, the younger brother of English Nationals might be able to create his fame this season.

As for keepers, the long injured Gordon is expected to retake his position as first keeper of the team, but with his ordinary performance last season, can he outdo himself for the coming 10 months?

They key for Sunderland's success this season will be on their midfield line. Summer newcomer, Lorik Cana, was announced to be Sunderland's new captain as soon as he arrived. The ex-Marseille captain's ability is already long proven since his days at French league. With his influence, I think he'll bag in most of the bonuses for Sunderland. The only doubt is, can you account for his expected number of cards?

Lorik Cana

Other than him, Malbranque is also a good fantasy player from Sunderland. 122 points was certainly a good performance for a midtabler's player, but at 6.0, it's just a tally-to-price performance, which is definitely not enough if you aimed to be a top achiever this season.

They major goalscorer Cisse has gone, but that's not much to be worried. With Kenwyne Jones who surprised us during the last third of the season, and Fraizer Campbell, who joined Sunderland after his loan spell with Tottenham, Sunderland's gunfire will still be as strong as before. While Jones is proven to be a decent striker, I'm more interested for the ex-Devil youngster and I'm sure that his performance will be the key for Sunderland's position this season.

Fraizer Campbell

08/09 Game Season Statistics
Top Pointers: Malbranque (122)
Most Goals: Jones (10)
Most Assists: Malbranque (9)
Most Bonus: Malbranque (20)
Most Clean Sheets (Defensive Line): A Ferdinand (9)
Points per Value: Collins (20.8)
Points per Game: Jones, Malbranque, Fulop (3.4)

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