Seb Larsson and John O'Shea to return for Sunderland v Montpellier

David Moyes
David Moyes
7
Have your say

Seb Larsson and John O'Shea will make their first appearances of pre-season for Sunderland against Montpellier HSC, the club has confirmed.

The duo were given an extended break after their Euro 2016 exploits and haven't played a minute of any of the four pre-season games to date.

Seb Larsson

Seb Larsson

But they will get their first run-out tomorrow in the final match of the tour of France against Montpellier HSC.

The game will be played at the Stade Jacques Forestier in Aix-les-Bains (5pm kick-off UK time).

First team coach Robbie Stockdale said: "John and Seb joined the squad on Sunday and the plan is to get them some minutes on Saturday against Montpellier.

"Both players are naturally fit but with summer tournaments and a later return date the recovery process is as important as the work period, so they’ve had three days with the sports science department and then three days with the team before playing on Saturday."

Jan Kirchhoff enjoyed his first run-out of pre-season in the 3-2 win over Dijon FCO and Stockdale says it will give the German a huge boost.

"Jan Kirchhoff will feel better for the 90 minutes and although he huffed and puffed towards the end we kept him on.

"I think it will be a psychological boost for him to have completed the game."

Jermain Defoe will miss the game, the 33-year-old has a thigh strain and could be absent for the remainder of the pre-season programme.

Club medics hope to have him back for the Manchester City game on August 13, the opening day of the new Premier League season.

Meanwhile, the only other injury doubt ahead of the game against Montpellier HSC is Patrick van Aanholt, who missed training this morning.

He has tightness in his groin and will be assessed. If the Dutch left-back does miss out then Tommy Robson is likely to take his place.