Bookmakers are offering free bets for Sunderland’s 2010/11 Barclays Premier League campaign, which gets underway on Saturday 14th August.
Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon has suffered a broken arm following a nasty fall in training.
Scotland international Gordon, who has only recently recovered from a hernia operation, fell awkwardly and fractured a bone in his arm.
The 27-year-old is facing three months on the sidelines as he undergoes rehab on the damaged arm, and will miss a chunk of the new season for club and country.
Gordon missed a lengthy spell due to a fractured arm last season after colliding with Tottenham's Jermaine Defoe in November.
The shot-stopper returned to complete 31 appearances for the Black Cats last term and underwent a minor operation only last Thursday to repair the bone damage caused in that incident.
The news comes as a disappointment for manager Steve Bruce, Gordon had begun to justify his £9m price tag in keeping seven clean sheets and some outstanding performances last season.
Bookmakers don’t see the news impacting on the club’s season since Bruce has cover in recent signing Simon Mignolet and promising youngster Trevor Carson.
Sunderland look well set to consolidate themselves in the Premier League, with the recent addition of Paraguay international Christian Riveros and on-loan Egyptian international Ahmed Al-Muhammadi.
Online bookmaker 888 Sport, who offer new customers a refund if their first bet loses, go 6/4 for Sunderland to finish in the top half.
Bruce has intimated there are more signings to come and chairman Niall Quinn has expressed the club’s ambitions of playing in Europe in the near future.
888 Sport go 14/1 for Sunderland to finish in the top six which would ensure a Europa League place the following season.