Sunderland - Di Canio to stop the rot

Di Canio

You may be entertained at Sunderland with Paolo Di Canio at the helm, but avoiding relegation is just about all they can hope for at the moment.

With the Premier League season just one week away, 13 of our football pundits have put their heads together to give you a comprehensive set of predictions.

Each pundit predicted where each Premier League club will finish the season, with 20 points for the club predicted to finish 1st, down to 1 point for the club finishing bottom.

Verdict - Sunderland will finish 16th

Highest prediction: 9th, Lowest prediction: 19th

2013/14 Premier League final table predictions

Callum Farrell: 9th - Di Canio has managed to assemble a new team which should be good enough to stop the rot. Experienced internationals will steady Sunderland, and will see them get into the top half.

Alan Dawson: 10th - If Sir Alex Ferguson hasn’t copyrighted the ‘hairdryer treatment’ phrase then the press may soon end up labelling Sunderland’s players as the latest recipients. His transfers to date have been great.

Mathew Nash: 12th - I had my reservations about Sunderland under Paolo Di Canio - but they look like they have been whipped into shape this summer. That should be enough to steer them clear of what will likely be another tight relegation battle.

Nick Harris: 12th - Sunderland have made some excellent signings, and even with the unpredictable figure of Paolo Di Canio at the helm, they should enjoy a good season at the Stadium of Light.

Vincent Ralph: 12th - Everything about Paolo Di Canio suggests he will not let the Black Cats even flirt with relegation this season. His considerable efforts in the transfer market suggest the side will take time to gel, and yet quotes from the dressing room imply this already feels like a team. 

Ian Bolland: 13th - Will start well, and will probably implode. Expecting plenty of Di Canio entertainment.

Dan Coombs: 14th - Sunderland have bought well and have an excellent frontline, but questions will remain defensively. Has enough been done to help out a back line which conceded six to Aston Villa ? Di Canio remains an unknown quantity, one that it is tough to place too much faith in at this point.

Vic Daniels: 14th - Di Canio will have his moments this season, but by and large the team will play for him. The club is going through a period of consolidation

Lewis Doe: 14th - Di Canio says there is every reason not to expect his side to be close to the bottom three this season and he’s right. Sunderland have backed him, and made nine signings this summer while the same number, who were entrenched in a relegation scrap last season, have been sent the other way.

Gareth McKnight: 16th - Huge amount of new players, it could take time for the new foreign faces to adjust to life in England. Similar to last term, I think Sunderland fans could be in for a long season.

Jenny Leigh: 18th - Di Canio will get them motivated, no doubt, and I expect them to work harder and fight for their lives, but without Mignolet and still lacking in quality throughout, I think it’ll be very difficult for the Black Cats to stay up.

Graham Morris: 18th - Sunderland, Sunderland, Sunderland. I just think there's an imbalance between a completely uninspiring club and a manager who's so fervent as Di Canio is. I fear there's trouble ahead, trouble by the name of relegation.

Jamie Allen: 19th - A strong transfer window and a decent start, and everything looks good. But a mid-season implosion triggers a fall into the championship. And Di Canio will be gone.

2013/14 Premier League final table predictions

Where do you think Sunderland will finish ?

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