STREAM HERE >>> Sunderland vs Rangers Live Stream Pre Season Friendly Full HD
After four seasons in League One, Sunderland ended the 2021-22 campaign on a high with a 2-0 victory in the playoff final against Wycombe Wanderers to earn promotion to the Championship.
The appointment of head coach Alex Neil in February proved to be a major turning point in their season, as they went on to lose only one of their final 18 league matches, putting together a 15-game unbeaten run before beating Wycombe at Wembley Stadium.
Before the Black Cats begin life back in the second tier with an opening fixture against Coventry City on July 31, they have six pre-season friendlies scheduled, including two in Portugal against Rangers and Jose Mourinho‘s Roma.
Last Saturday, Sunderland played two behind-closed-doors training exercises at the Academy of Light against Gateshead and Blyth Spartans, beating the former 2-0 and the latter 4-0.
While the likes of Aiden McGeady, Will Grigg and Lee Burge have all left the club this summer, Neil has brought in centre-back Daniel Ballard from Arsenal and striker Leon Dajaku from Union Berlin, with both players joining on permanent deals.
As things stand, the Black Cats have managed to retain the services of last season’s top scorer Ross Stewart, who found the net 26 times in 49 league matches, although Saturday’s opponents Rangers are believed to be keeping tabs on the Scottish striker.
A heartbreaking defeat on penalties to Eintracht Frankfurt in their first European final since 2008 was followed by a 2-0 triumph against Hearts in the Scottish Cup showpiece event, which saw them lift the trophy for the 34th time in their history.Van Bronckhorst is now preparing for his first full season in charge of the Gers after replacing Steven Gerrard in November last year.
The Dutchman had initially struggled to make waves in the transfer market, but this week he has recruited two new players in the form of Croatian striker Antonio Colak from PAOK and Tom Lawrence from Derby County. The futures of star men Alfredo Morelos and Joe Aribo, meanwhile, are believed to be uncertain, with the latter reportedly in talks with Southampton.
It remains to be seen whether Aribo will travel with the rest of the Rangers squad for pre-season training in Portugal ahead of Saturday’s fixture against Sunderland.
Following their game with the Black Cats, the Scottish giants will face Blackpool at Bloomfield Road before welcoming Premier League duo West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur to Ibrox ahead of their opening Premiership clash away against Livingston on July 30.
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Considering that both sides will be kicking off the new season at the end of this month, both Neil and Van Bronckhorst are set to hand a number of their senior stars more regular minutes to build up their match fitness for the new campaign.
Sunderland’s Anthony Patterson is currently the only senior goalkeeper on their books so he is likely to start between the sticks, while it remains to be seen whether summer recruits Ballard and Dajaku will be involved.
As for Rangers, Scott Arfield, Fashion Sakaka and Josh McPake were all on the scoresheet in a 3-2 friendly victory over Partick Thistle last weekend, which saw Van Bronckhorst use 23 different players including youngsters from the acade