Sunderland's second game of the season has been confirmed. Ahead of the Championship fixtures for 2017-18 being unveiled on Wednesday, the draw for the League Cup has taken place this afternoon.
The Black Cats will face Bury at Gigg Lane with the game to be held during week commencing 7th August.
With the Championship season kicking off the weekend prior, this fixture will be the second game of the Black Cats new campaign.
Sunderland already have a pre-season fixture at the Shakers on Friday 7th July. Two games against former midfielder Lee Clark in a month adds to the intrigue for this one.
This season is the first time Sunderland have featured in the first round of the re-branded League Cup since 2006.
That year saw us knocked out by upcoming opponents Bury in the opening sequence of the tournament. Spanish midfielder Arnau Riera was sent off in the 4th minute in his debut in a Sunderland shirt. He would only make one further appearance for the club and Niall Quinn was manager that day.
Renamed the Carabao Cup for 2017-18, English football's second-favourite knock-out competition will conclude with the final on Sunday 25th February. The first round is split into a north and south section.
Carabao is a Taiwanese energy drink for those uninitiated in far east caffeinated sugar-loaded fizzy pop. Or for those who like a little wildlife, a Carabao is actually a buffalo native to the Philippines.
The League Cup holds special memories on Wearside for 2014's famous run to Wembley. Sunderland were also finalists in 1985 when the competition was branded after the original energy drink - milk.
The competition has had a variety of names - Milk, Littlewoods, Rumbelows, Coca Cola, Worthington's, Carling, Capital One and...um...EFL. Manchester United are the current holders after beating Southampton in a cracking final last year.
Let's hope the draw is a positive omen. Last time we faced Bury in the first round of the League Cup Sunderland would go on to storm to promotion into the Premier League.