Sunderland vs Norwich City: Back High-Scoring Draw at the Stadium of Light

Sunderland Stadium of Light

Saturday 27th August: 12:30

On the face of it, a Sunderland vs Norwich City fixture is more suited to the Premier League than the EFL Championship, such are the respective sizes of these two teams, but both outfits know they’ll need to be primed and ready to fight it from here until May to stand any chance of a return to the top tier this season.

In the early EFL Championship betting, Dean Smith’s Canaries are considered second only to Watford in the running for the title, while Alex Neil’s team are starting to rise in the very same rankings, with many seeing the Stadium of Light side as a good outside longshot bet in this department.

Sunderland Make Bright Start

Scottish boss Alex Neill took over at Sunderland in February and led the north-east giants on a run that saw them unbeaten over the course of the final 13 games of the season, followed by a play-off run that saw off the challenges of Sheffield Wednesday and Wycombe Wanderers. 

They have more than proven, thus far, that they are capable of making an impact in the Championship. Over the course of their first five games of the season, they’ve seen off Stoke City and Bristol City on the road and drawn with Coventry City and QPR, with just the one defeat coming at fellow promotion-chasers Sheffield United.

Strikers Ellis Simms, on loan from Everton, and Ross Stewart give the Black Cats a real cutting edge up front, and the great support they have at home could prove all the difference as they seek to make a return to the Premier League.

It’s been a tough time at Sunderland in recent years, both on and off the field of play, and it’s now six seasons since they were relegated from the top flight after a period of ten years in the Premier League. They suffered back-to-back relegations and then tasted heartache in the play-offs in both 2018-19 and 2020-21 before finally securing a return to the Championship last season.

Dean Smith’s Side Bounce Back From Poor Start

Norwich City are very much a yo-yo club, having won the EFL Championship twice in the past four seasons only to then finish rock bottom of the Premier League, and Dean Smith will hope to make it a hat-trick of titles in 2022-23, but they certainly didn’t start the season in a manner that would make the Canaries fans confident of such an achievement.

They managed just one point from their opening three games, drawing at home to Wigan Athletic and losing away at Cardiff City and Hull City, but two wins in the space of a week have changed their outlook.

Impressive United States international Josh Sargent netted in both their home victories over Huddersfield Town and Millwall and Smith will hope he can make an impact at Sunderland this weekend.

There are a number of big teams in the Championship this season, and it may be an even tougher fight to get out of the league than in most years, and that’s saying something.

Best Bets

Back a 2-2 Draw - 12/1

There isn’t much to choose between the two sides, and we’d back a draw between these two and one that will see goals scored. Clearly, a 2-2 draw is a bet that will secure you a bigger payout than other stalemates, and that’s the element of risk you are entering into with this bet.

Alternatively, you could stick with a BTTS (both teams to score) bet that would typically secure you odds of around 4/6, so less of an exciting bet on the whole. 

The game is live on Sky Sports and is a game that’s well set for the neutrals as it sees two sides who are in form staking a claim for a return to the big-time.