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Roker Report’s Away guide to the Championship: Preston, Brentford, Boro, Villa & Burton

Relive our best and worst memories from every ground in the Championship as Roker Report gives you a mini-guide to the teams that we’ll pit against this season.

Burton Albion v Northampton Town - Sky Bet League Two Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

Saturday 30th September: Preston North End (3pm K/O)

Manager: Alex Neil - The former Norwich boss took the reins this summer after current Sunderland manager Simon Grayson left the club. Neil led Norwich to promotion and relegation, before being sacked last season after Norwich failed to muster a challenge for the top 6. Neil is a good young manager who I really rate, and Preston could be a team to watch out for under his tutelage.

Stadium: Deepdale - 23,404

Away Allocation: 3,000, but can be extended to 6,000

Memorable game: In 2002-03 we went on a Premier League record run of defeats which continued as we embarked upon a spell in the Championship. But, we ended that run at 17 games with a 2-0 win at Preston. Sean Thornton and Marcus Stewart bagged the goals and it was a precious win in our run towards the playoffs that season.

Worst game: Pick your poison. So many bad defeats at Preston. 4-1 and 1-0 under Keane in 2006-07 and 3-2 in 04-05. I never fancy Sunderland at Preston, it just seems to be a hard place to go and get points.

Our record: 16 wins 16 draws and 28 defeats. Its a bit of a meh record.

Last League Visit - 4-1 loss, 14th October 2006, Varga

Sunderland v Preston North End
Remember our home encounter with them in March 2004? Where Jeff Whitley received red for punching Graham Alexander. Definitely a better boxer than footballer.
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Saturday October 21st: Brentford (3pm K/O)

Manager: Dean Smith - Smith did a cracker of a job at Walsall, almost leading them to the Championship, before Brentford gave him a shot at leadingLemme k them to their ultimate goal of Premier League football. Last season Brentford finished 10th, but do play some good football - one to watch out for.

Stadium: Griffin Park - Capacity 12,763

Away allocation: 1,600 (1,000 standing 600 seated)

Most memorable game and worst game: The horrendous 2-1 defeat to Brentford was memorable for all the wrong reasons. Live on the tele, with bottom of the Premier League Sunderland visiting a decent League One Brentford. DJ Campbell scored both of the goals for the Bees, and Mick McCarthy was pretty much finished as Sunderland manager after the result.

Our record: 4 wins 2 draws and 3 defeats. A positive(ish) record!

Last League Visit, 1-1, 6th April 1993, Don Goodman

FA Cup: Brentford v Sunderland
DJ Campbell celebrating his winning goal in our FA Cup exit to Brentford. - January 28th 2006.
Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Saturday 4th November: Middlesbrough (3pm K/O)

Manager: Garry Monk - The former Leeds and Swansea manager walks into the Riverside with a squad capable of promotion. Boro are surely the favourite for winning the league this season, and their chances were increased when they hired the promising young manager. It’s still a shit hole though.

Stadium: Riverside Stadium - Capacity 33,746

Away Allocation: 3,000

Memorable match: A few choices to choose from since Boro moved to the Riverside. Arca in the 2-0 win. Darren Williams scoring in 1996-97. Our cup victory under Martin O'Neil in 2011-12. But I am actually going to pick our 2-2 draw in 2007-08 under Roy Keane, it was a massive point for us, and it saw Liam Miller score an underrated goal in the last minute to get us the point.

Middlesbrough v Sunderland - Premier League
Yup, we know how you feel, Victor.
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Worst game: Look no further than last season. Flat and inept, we lost 1-0 and never looked like scoring in a million years. And it pretty much confirmed our relegation.

Our record: We have won 22 games in Teeside, losing on 34 occasions. Not a terribly awful away record all things considered.

Last Visit - Lost 1-0, April 26th 2017


Tuesday 21st November - Aston Villa (7.45pm K/O)

Aston Villa v Sunderland - Premier League
Phil Bardsley celebrating his winner against Villa in January 2011.
Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Manager: Steve Bruce - Brucey has got a big fat heed and he loves a sausage roll. He is also a pretty good Championship manager, and is looking to secure his fourth promotion to the Premier League. Did you know he got Sunderland to tenth in the Premier League once? He doesn't like to brag about it.

Stadium: Villa Park - Capacity 42,660

Away Allocation: 2972

Most memorable result: On August 28th 1982 little old Sunderland rocked up to the European Champions Aston Villa expecting to take a beating. We were 1-0 down at half time but turned it around with goals from Colin West, Ally McCoist and Nick Pickering. An excellent way to start the season.

Worst match: Urgh... the 6-1 defeat under Paolo Di Canio was grim. Nothing else needs said.

Our record: 16 wins and 57 defeats at Villa Park. Impressively bad!

(Writers note - This will be our first second division game at Villa Park since the final day of the 1974-75 season, where Villa celebrated promotion with a 2-0 victory over the lads. This was also the season of our last second division game against Manchester United.)

Last League Visit - 2-2, 29th August 2015 - M'vila, Lens


Saturday 25th November - Burton Albion (3pm K/O)

Burton Albion v Birmingham City - Sky Bet Championship
Our first visit to Burton could feel more like a visit to a non-league stadium.
Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Manager: Nigel Clough - Son of Brian, and linked with the vacant Sunderland post this summer before Sexy Simon was hired. Clough is enjoying his return to Burton following spells at Derby and Sheffield United. He was also born in Sunderland.

Stadium: Pirelli Stadium - Capacity 6,912

Away Allocation: 1,400 stood and 400 seated

Memorable game: Has not happened.

Worst game: See above.

No Previous League Meeting