The Black Cats have parted company with fiery Italian manager Paolo Di Canio, prompting the bookies to tip them for a potential early exit from the Capital One Cup this week
Sunderland's humiliating start to the new English season could be about to get a whole lot worse when they host third tier side Peterborough in the pick of the 11 third-round ties being staged in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night.
The third round marks the entrance of England's big guns into the League Cup competition but most interest on Tuesday night will centre on whether the Black Cats will show immediate improvement in the wake of manager Paolo Di Canio's sacking.
The controversial Di Canio was dismissed after less than six months in charge of the Black Cats, with Sunderland having failed to win any of their first five matches of the new season to be sitting on the bottom of the EPL table with just one point so far.
In their past three EPL matches Sunderland have been beaten by Crystal Palace, Arsenal and West Brom - conceding three goals in each of those games.
And with former player Kevin Ball now taking charge in a caretaker capacity, Sunderland look a huge risk in their third round League Cup tie on Tuesday night at just $1.57 at bet365 to win at home against League One side Peterborough.
And while Peterborough are presently two divisions below Sunderland, the way these two teams have started the season they could well both be in the same competition next season - with Peterborough sitting in second place in League One after just eight matches.
The Posh - who are managed by Darren Ferguson, the son of legendary former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson - have lost just once in eight games so far this season and thrashed Championship side Reading 6-0 in the previous round of the Capital One Cup.
And Sunderland are not the only EPL side in danger of making an early exit on Tuesday night at the hands of lower league opponents.
Struggling Norwich could actually start their match away to Championship high-flyers Watford as underdogs, with the two teams currently equal favourites at $2.62 at bet365, while the draw at 90 minutes is paying $3.30.
However Watford - semi-finalists in the League Cup in 2005 - are in sensational form and are coming off a 5-1 demolition away from home against Barnsley in the Championship on the weekend.
The Toffees also look good value to actually win this season's competition where they are paying $17 to be sitting on the seventh line of betting behind Chelsea at $6, Man City $6.50, Man United $9, Arsenal $10, Tottenham $11 and Liverpool $12.
However, Spurs face a tricky task away to fellow EPL side Aston Villa in what will be the north London club's third game in six days - following a Europa League tie on Thursday and an EPL fixture on Sunday.
Competition favourites Chelsea are the second shortest priced favourites of the night at $1.36 away to League One side Swindon at $8.50 - only behind Man City at $1.28 for their home tie against last year's shock FA Cup winners Wigan at $11.
Hull City are the $1.80 favourites at home to Championship side Huddersfield at $4.50 while in the pick of the ties not involving a Premiership side, Leicester are the $1.90 favourites at home to Derby at $4.
And the Foxes - winners of this competition in 1997 and 2000 - are the highest ranked side in overall betting to win the League Cup from those sides left in the competition from outside the EPL at odds of $67 at bet365.
*Note prices subject to change