SUNDERLAND boss Martin O’Neill will run the rule over his strikers tomorrow when Fraizer Campbell, Nicklas Bendtner and Stephane Sessegnon all report back to training from international duty.
The trio have all had a testing few days and the Sunderland manager says he will need to know exactly what shape they are in before tying up final plans for Sunday’s derby against Newcastle United at the Sports Direct Arena.
Bendtner was substituted just after the hour in Denmark’s 2-0 defeat to Russia in what was ex-Sunderland keeper Thomas Sorensen’s 100th international appearance.
The striker missed his country’s best chance of the game but what will concern O’Neill is suggestions that the on-loan Arsenal man might have turned his ankle shortly before coming off.
Fraizer Campbell cruised through his 13-minute cameo for England in the 3-2 defeat at Wembley but his issues are more off-the-field than on – the 24-year-old becoming a father on the night to Isla Rose Campbell.
And O’Neill will need to see whether the former Manchester United man will be right for Sunday’s game.
Meanwhile, there have been worries about the 7,000 mile round trip Stephane Sessegnon has had to make to take part in Benin’s African Cup of Nations qualifier against Ethiopia last night, but in the game at least, Sessegnon came through unscathed. The game ended goalless.
Elsewhere there was better news for Sunderland with Seb Larsson, David Vaughan, James McClean, John O’Shea and Simon Mignolet all getting run-outs.
McClean’s much-anticipated Republic of Ireland debut was restricted to just 11 minutes at the end of his country’s 1-1 draw with the Czech Republic. O’Shea played the full game.
David Vaughan got 70 minutes in the Gary Speed memorial match, the 1-0 defeat to Costa Rica, and that will have substantially benefited his fitness as he continues a comeback which should see him fit enough to be in the squad for Sunday.
Seb Larsson, meanwhile, put his indifferent showing in the 4-0 defeat to West Brom firmly behind him, bagging Sweden’s last two goals in a 3-1 win in Croatia.
Simon Mignolet played the full 90 minutes for Belgium in their 1-1 draw with Greece.