Sunderland midfielder Lee Cattermole likely to sit out Chelsea trip

Lee Cattermole Sunderland against Leicester City. Picture by FRANK REID
Lee Cattermole Sunderland against Leicester City. Picture by FRANK REID
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Lee Cattermole is unlikely to be risked in Sunderland’s final day game at Chelsea tomorrow, to avoid an unnecessary suspension at the start of next season.

Cattermole equalled the record for bookings in a solitary season when he received his 14th yellow card of the campaign in last weekend’s draw with Leicester.

He cannot change himself, so for him, it’s better not to play

Dick Advocaat

One more booking at Stamford Bridge this weekend would see Cattermole miss the first three games of next season.

With that disciplinary tightrope in mind, Dick Advocaat is expected to leave Cattermole out against the Premier League champions after Sunderland secured their survival at Arsenal in midweek.

“Yes, I’m tempted not to play him,” admitted Advocaat.

“It’s too big a risk.

“He cannot change himself, so for him, it’s better not to play.”

Cattermole will not be the only player who was influential against the Gunners to get a breather tomorrow, with goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon ruled out with a jarred knee.

Vito Mannone will take Pantilimon’s spot, while Danny Graham is also an injury doubt due to an ankle problem.

But Seb Larsson is fit to feature, despite clearly struggling during the closing stages at the Emirates.

“Pantilimon has some problems with his knee, the same with Bridcutt and Wes Brown,” said Advocaat.

“Danny Graham is in question, but for the rest, everybody is fit.

“Even the players who are injured will travel with us.

“They asked to go, and that says something about the squad at the moment.”

If Graham misses out, Duncan Watmore will take the striker’s place among the matchday 18.

But with Advocaat keen to given an opportunity to those players who have been on the bench in recent games, handing Watmore a Premier League debut will not be a priority.

“I still have four players who have done everything in the other eight games,” added Advocaat.

“I cannot say to Duncan ‘you’re my man’. He has to prove it next season.”