It was pretty much honours even across the four meetings between Sunderland and Manchester United last season but bookmakers aren’t reading much into those contests ahead tomorrow’s Stadium of Light game, which is a slender-looking 3/4 (William Hill) to go the way of the visitors.

The Black Cats appear a touch overpriced at 4/1 with Stan James to win, although on the back of the result at West Brom, there’ll be no shortage of punters favouring Paddy Power’s stalemate quote of 14/5.

Similarly, another 2-2 scoreline may lure some at 17/1 via BetVictor, bet365 price the sides at 5/1 to be inseparable at the end of each half and Ladbrokes chalk a score draw down at 17/4.

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Home fans seeking to tread carefully can head to’s handicaps, where Sunderland enjoy a goal start at 21/20 though seeing United slip up against Swansea at Old Trafford will have heightened optimism in some quarters and bet365 make Poyet’s side 16/1 to prevail 2-1.

A one-goal margin of victory for Sunderland is 11/2 (BetVictor) and front pairing Steven Fletcher and Connor Wickham are both 8/1, via Skybet and bet365 respectively, to open the scoring.

Newcastle gave Manchester City plenty to think about in the latter stages of last Sunday’s St James’s Park contest but their positive performance hasn’t convinced bookies that a victory is on the cards at Aston Villa, where they’ll kick-off as Ladbrokes’s 15/8 outsiders.

BetVictor have installed the hosts as slender 8/5 favourites while William Hill mark 23/10 against a draw, odds lent appeal by the fact that Paul Lambert’s troops showed plenty of resolve in last weekend’s win at Stoke.

Bookies are expecting a low-scoring affair, hence’s 3/4 for fewer than three goals and bet365’s 9/1 for 0-0 is set to prove popular.

That would be good news for those backing both halves to be level at 19/5 with Stan James, however, the Villans struggled on home soil last term, United one of the teams to win there and a 2-1 repeat is 11/1 via BetVictor.

Paddy Power  quote 4/1 for the Magpies to again lead at the end of each period and Stan James make Yoan Gouffran, who bagged the winner in last September’s scrap, 10/1 to fire the first on this occasion.

Middlesbrough can count themselves unfortunate not to still be in possession of a hundred percent record in the Championship, but two wins from three represents a solid start and bookies fancy them to build on it at home to Sheffield Wednesday.

Aitor Karanka’s charges are 10/11 overcome the unbeaten Owls (7/2, betway) and it’s 13/5 courtesy of BetVictor to draw.

On home soil, however, Boro should have the upper hand and Skybet chalk them up at 2/1 to triumph ‘to nil’ at the Riverside, where BetVictor rate them at 17/2 to notch twice without reply.

A 1-0 success is more likely at 13/2 (Ladbrokes) while Stan James mark 19/5 against Boro victory after a drawn first period and up front, in-form striker Kike has struck three times in his four Boro appearances so he gets the nod at 9/2 with William Hill in the first scorer betting.

Pointless Hartlepool  are 7/2 (BetVictor) to come out on top as they travel to Wimbledon in League Two and it’s 13/5 via bet365 to end in stalemate.

 Odds supplied

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