Last Updated: 17/08/13 4:52pm
Berbatov gives away a free kick, protests and hits the ball into the ground. Yellow card. No argument.
Berbatov just kicks it into the Sunderland half and Fulham get set up for another Sunderland attack. Fulham win a free kick though. Briggs is fouled.
Giaccherini still looks most threatening down the left but his cross creeps our of play this time. Still time for Sunderland.
Fulham playing a lot deeper now. Karagounis sitting in front of the back four. Expecting a big twelve minutes from the home side.
Karagounis looking for the ball over the top for Berbatov but the Bulgarian will prefer it to feet. Easy for Sunderland to clear.
Fulham appear to be in control and Berbatov looks in the mood now as well. Colback gets Sunderland going again with a free kick.
Fulham win a throw. And it's taken by Briggs, who has played well since coming on early in the first half.
Altidore with an excellent turn but fires wide. Lovely attempt. He's scored in his last 5 games for USA. He's getting closer today as well.
Giaccherini really trying down the left but nothing in the box. Sunderland must do better in the final third.
Johnson with a half volley but it's wide. Jol will be happy to restrict Sunderland to attempts like that from distance. Not troubling the Fulham goal.
Briggs this time with a ball in from the left but Berbatov doesn't attack it and Sunderland clear. Johnson has a go from distance at the other end. Still 0-0.
Taarabt gives the ball away, Giaccherini breaks and his cut back is cleared by Boateng. Early warning for Fulham.
And that's it, all square at the break. Sunderland have had more possession but will want to create more chances after the break.
Johnson this time finds Giaccherini who beats Boateng but Cabral's header goes over. Really good move by Di Canio's side.
Johnson has got into some good areas but hasn't managed to find the quality required in the final third. So far, anyway.
Hangeland gives the ball away and Briggs helps out and diverts the ball for a corner. Sunderland having a real go now.
Boateng doing well defensively this time from a Sunderland corner but Sessegnon wins his side a free kick in a dangerous area.
Fulham struggling to keep the ball now. Giaccherini has a try from 25 yards but it's straight at Stekelenburg. Decent effort.
Cabral with a ball to Colback who whips in an excellent ball but Altidore is well marshalled by Hangeland.
We have reached the half hour mark and still very tight. The side who remain composed in the final third likely to open the scoring. It's certainly been frantic.
Sunderland look long this time for Altidore but the ball trickles out of play. A rare moment for the crowd to draw breath.
O'Shea shows his experience and wins his side a goal kick. Kasami was putting him under pressure though.
Richardson holding his hamstring muscle. Could he be about to go off? Matty Briggs has been recalled to the bench from the warm up area.
Decent battle in the centre of the park between Boateng and Cabral. Sidwell wins it back this time and Fulham break again.
Johnson thought he had won his side a corner then but the referee points for another Fulham goal kick.
Kasami wins Fulham a fee kick but in the end they can't capitalise and it's a Sunderland goal kick. Martin Jol will be far happier now.
Signs that Berbatov is getting more involved with play as well. Fulham appear to have settled a little bit now.
Taarabt receives it this time and wins his side a free kick. Taarabt takes but it's easily cleared by Sunderland.
Sunderland enjoying some good possession and they are looking really sharp early on. Di Canio will be pleased.
Stekelenburg fists away and Fulham survive the first test of the afternoon.
Sunderland get us started and it's a Fulham goal kick straight away.
Here they come and welcome to a new season of football. So much hope and expectation on both sets of players...
The teams are in the tunnel and the atmosphere pitch side is really bubbling. Moments away from kick-off now...
Sunderland fans already in good voice. Just how will the new signings settle in though? The same can be said of Fulham of course.
Matt has been in touch via Twitter: 'I'm a Fulham fan but I feel Sunderland and their new players will just be a bit too strong. 2-1 to Sunderland, sadly.' Do you agree?
Plenty of new faces in the Sunderland team. Altidore didn't quite get the goals he might have expected last time he played in the Premier League for Hull but he did well while in Holland.
Interesting to see how Berbatov links up with Taarabt. Could be a superb move by Fulham manager Martin Jol or might it backfire? Bent has to make do with a start on the bench.
You can get involved today and post your thoughts. Send a Tweet to @FootballMcD and I will get as many on as possible.
Sunderland are the 5/4 favourites to win today with Fulham considered 9/4 chances and the draw 12/5. Jozy Altidore heads the first goalscorer market while Dimitar Berbatov is available in our Price Boosts at 7/1 to break the deadlock. Bet on the match here.
So, football is back and we could be in for a cracker here this afternoon. Sunderland have scored plenty of goals during pre-season and in Berbatov and Taarabt Fulham certainly have a goal threat.
Fulham starting XI: Stekelenburg, Riether, Richardson, Hangeland, Hughes, Sidwell, Boateng, Taarabt, Duff, Kasami, Berbatov.
Sunderland starting XI: Westwood, Celustka, Colback, Roberge, O'Shea (c), Larsson, Cabral, Johnson, Giaccherini, Sessegnon, Altidore.