Saturday 10th February: Bristol City (3pm K/O)
Manager: Lee Johnson - Son of Gary Johnson, Lee Johnson is currently the manager of Bristol City having also enjoyed spells at Oldham and Barnsley. Last year saw Bristol City start strong but badly fade away in the second half of the season and being embroiled in a relegation battle. Though City survived, Johnson has a job on his hands to convince people he is the right man for this job.
Stadium: Ashton Gate - Capacity - 27,000
Away allocation: 4,200
Most memorable game: Our 3rd division campaign in 1987-88 saw us travel to Bristol City in October looking for a vital win to get back on top of the division. A win we obliged in giving, courtesy of a 1st minute Gary Owers goal.
Worst game: In the 1973-74 season Sunderland were looking for promotion to go with their FA Cup victory from the season before. However the games that cost them were ones like this, where struggling Bristol City scored two late goals to confine Sunderland to a 2-0 defeat. Admittedly the European commitments at the start of the season slowed our early season progress.
Our record: We have only played 22 games against Bristol City away from home, and we have won 6 of them, drawing 5 and losing 11.
Last League Visit, 13th February 1999, 1-0 win Phillips
Tuesday 20th February: Bolton Wanderers (8pm K/O)
Manager: Phil Parkinson is entering the Championship for the first time since he took Charlton down to League One in 2008-09. Sandwiched between Charlton and now, Parkinson experienced the glory of a League Cup final with Bradford city - who then plied their trade in League two - and a promotion with Bolton this past season.
Stadium: Macron Stadium - Capacity - 28,723
Away allocation: 5,000
Most memorable game: During the 1998-99 season we steamrolled our way through the division on our way to a then record points total. But Bolton away from home was a fixture in which we were possibly outsiders to win. Kevin Phillips was injured, so Danny Dichio and Niall Quinn led the line. Sunderland though romped to a vital 3-0 victory against their promotion rivals. First half goals by Niall Quinn and Alan Johnston were topped off by a late Michael Bridges strike to consolidate our position as top dog in the league.
Worst game: Howard Wilkinson led his blundering Sunderland side to Bolton on a cold October evening in what was a early relegation 6-pointer. Sunderland even managed to take the lead through a Michael Gray screamer. But a disastrous own goal with minutes to spare by Phil Babb led us to a draw.
Our record: We have 16 times in Bolton and taken 20 draws while losing 37 times. Our recent record however is smashing, with the lads being undefeated since our 2-0 defeat in 2007-08.
Last League Visit - 2-0 win, 22nd October 2011 - Sessegnon & Bendtner
Saturday 3rd Match: Millwall - (3pm K/O)
Manager: Neil Harris is a Millwall legend, having played around 400 games for the club and scoring over 120 goals. Added to that is now a promotion as their manager, so its safe to say that Harris will never have to buy himself a pint in South East London.
Stadium: The Den - 20,146
Away allocation: 4,000
Most memorable game: Our most memorable game also acts as our worst game against Millwall. In 2003-04 Sunderland was rebounding from its terrible relegation and financial troubles to put up a splendid promotion push and FA Cup run. A 1-0 defeat compounded a miserable day of missed chances in Manchester, with Tim Cahill beginning his usual goal scoring exploits when playing Sunderland. A FA Cup final berth would have given us European football in 2004-05, and who knows, maybe it could have helped us gain promotion that season.
Our record: We have only played Milwall 19 times in our history away from home, and have won 5 of those, drawing 4 and losing 10.
Last League Visit, 5th November 2004, 2-0 loss
Saturday 10th March: Queens Park Rangers (3pm K/O)
Manager: Ian Holloway - The chirpy southerner took the role as QPR manager last season with mixed success. He led them away from relegation but also oversaw a bad run of results as well. QPR are likely to be a middle of the pack team next season, but it will be interesting to see if their ambitious owners think that is good enough. I bet we see Holloway back on Sky before Christmas...
Stadium: Loftus Road - 18,439
Away allocation: 2,500
Most memorable game: Our last victory at Loftus Road came during the 2011-12 season when Martin O’Neill led the team to London. We took a wonderful 2-0 lead thanks to goals by Nicklas Bendtner and Stephane Sessegnon - celebrated by a dog in the crowd. Before QPR pegged us back in the second half with two quick fire goals. A last minute winner by Wes Brown gave a jubilant travelling faithful all three points for a great away win against a relegation rival.
Worst game: The Martin O’Neill era underwhelmed though, and if any game summarised the era, it would be our away trip to QPR in 2012-13. We took an early lead through Steven Fletcher only to be pegged back ten minutes later by Loic Remy. The second half was steady, but QPR turned the screw late on with two splendid goals scored by Jermaine Jenas and Andros Townsend. O’Neill would never recover and was sacked two games later after a 1-0 home defeat to Manchester United.
Our record: We have visited QPR only 17 times in our history picking up wins five times while only drawing three times.
Last League Visit - 1-0 loss, 30th August 2014