ANTHONY REVEILLERE is in genuine contention to make his Sunderland debut at Crystal Palace after an intense week on the training ground.
The former France international has not played a competitive game since being released by Serie A side Napoli in May, but the 34-year-old has impressed Gus Poyet since joining Sunderland on trial and then penning a short-term contract with the Black Cats.
Head coach Poyet opted against fielding Reveillere in the Under-21s’ trip to Southampton last Monday, due to the extent of the travelling involved.
But, with Sunderland getting chance to put in some hard graft on the training ground this week ahead of Monday’s clash at Selhurst Park, Poyet believes the right-back is a realistic option for inclusion in defence.
Poyet told the Echo: “He’s getting closer – there’s going to be a time when I have to play him.
“Maybe Monday. It will depend on how we finish the week.
“(He didn’t play earlier this week) because it was Southampton. I think it took them, like, three days to get there on the coach!
“So that was an easy decision.
“If it was here, of course he would have played, for sure.
“We trained well this week, we trained more. We did things a little bit different.
“We played more football as well, which is interesting – the tactical side.
“There’s only one way to get fit – playing. How long, you never know.
“It depends on the game, how much you are on the ball.
“But, yeah, he’s more in contention than before, for sure.”
However, none of Sunderland’s injured quartet of Billy Jones, Emanuele Giaccherini, Ricky Alvarez and Sebastian Coates will be in contention for the clash against Palace.
Poyet admits the absence of Jones, Giaccherini and Alvarez in particular has been a blow to the Black Cats over the last two games.
“The four of them are important,” he said.
“We have a small team and they are players who make a difference.
“When Billy played, he gave us a few more options on the right with (Will) Buckley.
“And Giaccherini and Alvarez are the ones who can open the door.
“Those in particular, yes we miss them.
“But that’s natural in a team that is not doing well.
“I always say that when a team is not doing well, the best players are the ones who are not playing.”
Scott Dann will be given the weekend to prove his fitness for Palace.
The centre-back is yet to return to full training after knee trouble, but Eagles boss Neil Warnock is ready to give him every chance of facing the Black Cats.
James McArthur could also return after a hip complaint, while Damien Delaney is available after serving a one-match ban.
CRYSTAL PALACE (from): Speroni, Hennessey, Mariappa, Kelly, Fryers, Delaney, Ward, Hangeland, Jedinak, Bannan, Ledley, McArthur, Bolasie, Thomas, Puncheon, Gayle, Guediora, Campbell, Johnson, Doyle, Chamakh, Zaha.
SUNDERLAND (from): : Mannone, Pantilimon, Reveillere, Van Aanholt, Brown, O’Shea, Vergini, Roberge, Cattermole, Bridcutt, Rodwell, Gomez, Larsson, Johnson, Buckley, Mavrias, Wickham, Altidore, Fletcher, Graham.