Sunderland A.F.C Vs Club de Fútbol Pachuca
Sunderland continue their journey for match fitness with a very tough game against Mexican Side Club de Fútbol Pachucaat at Bonney Field. Defeat against US third tier side Sacramento Republic showed the quest for fitness to still be in it's early stages with tired legs clearly showing from those who completed the 90 minutes. Again fitness will be the emphasis as Dick looks to sharpen up the squad before departing for Canada.
There have been no reports of injury so far from the Sunderland camp and it is still unclear if trio Adam Johnson, Sebastian Coates and Patrick van Aanholt have been able to join up with the squad. New signing Jeremain Lens and and Younes Kaboul are unable to obtain a visa in time for this game so will join up with their new team mates in Canada. Dick will be expected to rotate his squad for game time.
Club de Fútbol Pachuca
Last seasons top scorer Ariel Nahuelpán, who's 40 appearances in all compertitions yieled 19 goals, could prove a tricky customer for the Black Cats defence along with Erick Gutierrez who'll attempt to control the midfield areas.
Players To Watch
Duncan looked lively when he came against Sacramento Republic and will be hoping for a bit more game time with new signing Jermain Lens set to join up with the squad, adding extra competition in the next fixture against Toronto FC. Duncan will be well aware of the likelihood Adam Johnson will be unavailable in the early stages of next season at least, so will no doubt be determined to put himself in contention for playing time when the season commences.
Like Watmore, Connor will be very aware of attacking competition entering our ranks. He'll be disappointed with his lack of impact in the previous game. This will be a defining season for Connor after a less than inspiring 14/15 season. The pressure is on for Wickham to perform consistently this season regardless of position and it's imperative he has a strong pre-season in order to push on.
Club de Fútbol Pachuca is one of the most successful teams in Mexican footballing history having won the Mexican Primera División 5 times and CONCACAF Champions' Cup 4 times. Established in 1901, they have 113 years of history behind them. In 1972 Pachuca saw sense by changing their original home kit colours from black and white stripes to blue and white stripes.
Like Sunderland, Pachuca are in their pre-season having finishing last season 7th in the Liga MX.