Derby will play Sunderland in their traditional home curtain-raiser to the new season on August 8th. "We're delighted that Martin O'Neill and his Sunderland side will be heading to Pride Park in the build-up to next season," said Rams boss Nigel Clough. "Sunderland's squad contains plenty of international players such as Sebastian Larsson, John O'Shea and James McClean - who are likely to play some part in the European Championships this summer for Sweden and the Republic of Ireland.

"It'll be great for our fans to see them in action, while it will also be good for our players to test themselves against Premier League players.

"I have no doubt Martin's side will certainly provide us with a stern test, which will be ideal in our preparations for the 2012-13 season."

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