By Kevin Phillips

5th Aug, 2021 | 7:00pm

Phillips delivers bold Sunderland prediction ahead of Wyke return

Kevin Phillips has predicted Sunderland will draw their opening fixture of the 2021-22 season with Wigan Athletic.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the Stadium of Light legend fears ex-Black Cat Charlie Wyke will come back to haunt his former side on Saturday.

Lee Johnson’s side welcome Wyke, Max Power and Jordan Jones back to Wearside this weekend, less than two months after the trio left the club.

Sunderland lost this fixture 1-0 last season in what was Johnson’s first game in charge.

Ahead of his first full season at the Stadium of Light, Johnson has added Corry Evans, Alex Pritchard, Callum Doyle and Jacob Carney to his squad.

When asked by Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs for his thoughts on Sunderland’s season opener against the Latics, Phillips said:

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“I think it will be a very difficult game for Sunderland.

“I always back them but I think it is going to be a 1-1 draw this weekend. It will be a much tougher game than it would have been 12 months ago because Wigan have made some very good signings.

“I would love to see Sunderland get off to the perfect start but I think Wyke, Power and Jones will be bang up for it and that will make it really difficult.

“I could see Wyke scoring as well, it is just sods law. How many players end up scoring when they go back to their old club.

“I ended up scoring when I went back to the Stadium of Light for the first time. For me it’s odds-on that he’s going to score.”

In other news, Phillips tells Johnson ‘be careful’ after Nixon transfer update.