Sunderland will conclude their preparation for the 2022-23 campaign with their last pre-season friendly against North-East neighbours Hartlepool United on Monday.
The Black Cats will be participating in their eighth match of the summer, while Hartlepool play their sixth game ahaed of beginning the League Two campaign.
Having secured promotion back to the Championship, Sunderland and their fans should be full of positivity ahead of attempting to make it back-to-back successes.
However, Alex Neil’s side are currently on a run of three defeats in four matches, the latest setback coming against Accrington Stanley on Saturday.
Despite taking the lead at halftime through Ross Stewart from the penalty spot, Alex Neil’s side were eventually condemned to a 2-1 defeat.
That result followed by a 2-0 defeat at Bradford City, and Neil is aware that he has an important week of work ahead to get his squad ready for the opening league match against Coventry City.
Despite Hartlepool’s only two pre-season victories having come against non-league opposition, they have been able to push three higher-level sides harder than they may have expected.
After playing out a 1-1 draw with Lincoln City at home, Hartlepool lost by just a 1-0 scoreline to Blackburn Rovers, with Jack Vale scoring the only goal of the game.
Widespread changes that have been made to the first-team squad, and Paul Hartley will be satisfied with their development since the start of the summer.
Hartley will already be putting some attention to the trip to Walsall next weekend, as they begin their bid to finish much higher than last season’s 17th place.
However, at a time when the foundations have seemingly been lasd ahead of the new season, Hartley will want to deliver a positive result for what should be a big crowed at the Suit Direct Stadium.
Hartlepool United vs Sunderland head to head
The two teams have previously met on just five occasions in club friendly matches, where Sunderland have claimed four victories while they have drawn once. Hartlepool United have scored three goals and conceded 12 in the process. They played out a 1-1 draw in their last meeting.
Hartlepool United 1-3 Sunderland 02/08/11
Hartlepool United 0-3 Sunderland 23/07/14
Hartlepool United 0-3 Sunderland 20/07/16
Hartlepool United 1-2 Sunderland 18/07/17
Hartlepool United 1-1 Sunderland 14/07/18
Hartlepool United latest home form
Hartlepool United have recently failed to keep a good run of form at home, having been winless in their 11 most recent matches. They lost 1-0 to Blackburn Rovers in their last home game in a friendly. In their last five matches, they have scored just one goal and conceded eight.
Hartlepool United 0-1 Port Vale 15/04/22
Hartlepool United 0-3 Swindon Town 23/04/22
Hartlepool United 0-2 Colchetser United 07/05/22
Hartlepool United 1-1 Lincoln City 16/07/22
Hartlepool United 0-1 Blackburn Rovers 20/07/22
Hartlepool United latest away form
Hartlepool have recently been on an upturn in form on the road, having won each of their two most recent matches. They managed to defeat Marske United 3-0 in their last away game in a friendly. In their last five matches, they have scored 11 goals and conceded just five.
Rochdale 2-1 Hartlepool United 18/04/22
Scunthorpe United 1-1 Hartlepool United 30/04/22
Hibernian 2-0 Hartlepool United 29/06/22
Billingham Synthonia 0-6 Hartlepool United 09/07/22
Marske United 0-3 Hartlepool United 12/07/22
Sunderland latest home form
Sunderland have recently managed to keep a good run of form at home, as they have been unbeaten in their nine most recent matches. They defeated Wycombe Wanderers 2-0 in their last home game in League One. In their last five matches, they have scored 12 goals and conceded four.
Sunderland 3-2 Shrewsbury Town 15/04/22
Sunderland 5-1 Cambridge United 23/04/22
Sunderland 1-1 Rotherham United 26/04/22
Sunderland 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday 06/05/22
Sunderland 2-0 Wycombe Wanderers 21/05/22
Sunderland latest away form
Sunderland have recently failed to keep a good run of form on the road, having won just one of their five most recent matches. They lost 2-1 to Accrington Stanely in their last away game in a friendly. In their last five matches, they have scored four goals and conceded seven.
Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Sunderland 09/05/22
Roma 2-0 Sunderland 13/07/22
Dundee United 0-2 Sunderland 16/07/22
Bradford City 2-0 Sunderland 19/07/22
Accrington Stanely 2-1 Sunderland 23/07/22
Hartlepool United news
Despite losing 1-0 to Blackburn Rovers last time out on Wednesday, Hartlepool United are likely to name a similar lineup.
Mikael Ndjoli was signed into the club earlier in the week and will come into contention, with his most recent spell having come in the United States with Virginia Beach FC.
Sunderland’s Carl Winchester missed out at the weekend through illness, but head coach Neil has suggested that the midfielder should return to the squad.
Leon Dajaku was absent due to a thigh issue, and it is unlikely that any risks will be taken on his fitness, with Stewart probably dropping to the bench.
Prediction and Odds
Sunderland will almost likely field a weakened side for this contest, and Hartlepool will feel that they can deliver the perfect boost ahead of the new campaign.
However, the Black Cats have won four of the five meetings between the sides and we expect them to continue their dominance in this fixture.
Odds: 1 2.32 X 2.05 2 2.15
Hartlepool United 0-1 Sunderland
Hartlepool United 0-2 Sunderland
Hartlepool United 1-2 Sunderland
Hartlepool United 0-0 Sunderland
Hartlepool United 1-1 Sunderland