Of the five clubs relegated from the top flight over the last two seasons, only Middlesbrough find themselves in the top half of the table after seven games. Even Sunderland are closer to that accolade than Boro are to the summit of England's second tier, perhaps an example of difficult 'bouncing back' is.
The visit to the KC Stadium represents our first tussle with a team we are more accustomed to playing in the Premier League in recent years. You would have probably missed it, given how dreadful we were, but Sunderland managed the double over Hull without conceding a goal last season. It is little wonder that they ended up relegated with us.
It's incredibly difficult to muster up any logic to suggest Sunderland will significantly change the fortunes we have experienced so far this campaign. However Hull too have been shackled with similar financial restraints spending a nominal fee in the summer despite raking in a staggering £40 million in transfer fees during their own mass summer exodus. Former Sunderland players Frazier Campbell and Seb Larsson were among the plethora of low-budget incomings for newly appointed Russian manager Leonid Slutsky - once thought to be on Ellis Short's radar to take over on Wearside.
Either side's chances of mounting a serious promotion challenge look slim, though Sunderland are far less likely of the two to trouble the coveted positions. The bookies agree, with netbet.co.uk offering 10/1 on Hull and 16/1 on Sunderland achieving promotion. Only eight teams are longer odds than us. For now, we just need to concentrate on not being quite as useless as we have been over the last 14 months, we're 14/5 to successfully be less useless later today. Simon Grayson's earlier press conference gave positive news of sorts in that Aiden McGeady is likely to be available and, if so, will be thrown straight back into the side. Callum McManaman looked more effective than George Honeyman and as such it is the academy product that is at most risk of losing his spot. Jonny Williams was also impressive last weekend and it would be a shock to see him dropped, meaning Sunderland could start with a very positive line up.
Lamine Kone is too, however describing that as a positive would take some dollop of sarcasm. I think it would be unwise to break what was a decent defence over the weekend, despite Tyias Browning's brain fart.
The news isn't quite as tepid for Lewis Grabban who is expected to be sidelined for several weeks meaning James Vaughan is certain to regain the starting spot he lost over the weekend.
Expected line up;
Ruiter, Wilson, Browning, Matthews, Oviedo, Cattermole, Ndong, Williams, McManamnan, McGeady, Vaughan.