How Sunderland will likely line up as debutants prepare to make their bow

Chris Coleman signed five players in January and was quick to make clear that they will be thrown straight in at the deep end.

Friday, 2nd February 2018, 7:17 pm
Updated Friday, 2nd February 2018, 7:25 pm
Camp looks set for a debut against Ipswich Town

He said: "I think, the stage we are in of the season, there’s enough points on offer and enough games left for us to be OK if get these boys up to it. Kaz was fighting for fitness and that appearance at Birmingham will do him the world of good.

"Ashley Fletcher played 50-odd minutes last weekend so he’s OK physically. Ovie played 90 minutes at the weekend, U23’s football albeit but 90 minutes all the same.

"Lee Camp has had five lots of 90 minutes recently, that is U23 games but still it is football and keepers are slightly different anyway. They’re all ready to play a big part at the weekend."

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So just how will the XI look when the new players are added to the equation?

We take a quick look at the big selection decisions....


Another disappointing display from Robbin Ruiter made a new goalkeeper a necessity on deadline day.

Lee Camp may not have been first choice but he does bring experience and though Coleman would not declare him the new number one, he has come here to play.

Coleman said: "Yes. He's here to push Robbin and Jason, and I think his experience will serve us well, and the type of personality he is.

"I haven't brought players in so that they can not take part – they are here to play and to help us.

"[Lee] would probably have been the number one there [Cardiff] had he not got injured.

"He was unfortunate really, and I can see why Neil [Warnock] would have wanted him there with his experience.

"He just needs to get back playing again. He is only 33 and for a keeper, he has got some years left in him yet."

Camp did not arrive on Wearside until Thursday evening but took part in full training on Friday and will surely get the nod to face Ipswich.

Likely to face Ipswich: Camp


Coleman is prepared to tinker with his system but providing he has the bodies he will likely play with five at the back more often than not.

He has injury scares with Lamine Kone and Jake Clarke-Salter but will hope that John O'Shea is fit to play after an illness earlier in the week.

If neither Kone nor Clarke-Salter are fit Coleman may have to go back to the drawing board and revert to a four-man defence.

Likely to face Ipswich: Matthews, Browning, O'Shea, Clarke-Salter, Oviedo


Lee Cattermole's performance dipped considerably at Birmingham City but Coleman has been absolutely clear that his leadership will be crucial, especially as Darron Gibson is out with injury.

Coleman wants to play with two strikers when he has five at the back, which likely means a midfield trio behind.

Cattermole will be the holding player with Ovie Ejaria taking a box-to-box role just in front of him. George Honeyman is first choice number ten having started every game since Coleman arrived.

Ethan Robson's emergence gives Coleman the chance to rest Honeyman in future and push Ejaria further forward.

Likely to face Ipswich: Cattermole, Ejaria, Honeyman


Sunderland's attacking woes forced Coleman to act and Ashley Fletcher will almost certainly become first choice, with Kazenga LuaLua alongside him.

That will give Josh Maja and Joel Asoro the chance to make an impact from the bench as they did so brilliantly against Burton Albion and Fulham.

For now, however, LuaLua is still working his way to fitness and so will likely stay on the bench for the visit of Ipswich.

Maja will hope that the presence of Fletcher will allow him to exert an even bigger influence on the game.

Likely to face Ipswich: Maja, Fletcher