When Sunderland's Corry Evans could play for U21s side as Cats are handed Nottingham Forest tie

Sunderland's under-21s side have several upcoming fixtures over the next few weeks.
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Sunderland's under-21s side have been drawn away to Nottingham Forest in the last 16 of the Premier League Cup.

Graeme Murty's side finished second in group E and will face Forest on Friday, February 23 at the Alfreton Town Impact Arena (7pm kick-off).

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The young Black Cats were beaten 2-1 at Reading on Saturday in Premier League 2, despite Joe Ryder's first-half opener for the visitors. Sunderland's next league game will come on Friday, March 1 at Eppleton CW against Brighton, a day before the first-team face Norwich in the Championship.

Sunderland's under-21s side will then face Manchester City away from home the following week (Saturday, March 9), when the senior team are away at Southampton, before home games against Derby (Thursday, March 14) and Newcastle (Monday, March 18).

This season Sunderland have handed game time to several first-team players in the under-21s set-up, helping those who haven't featured for the senior side or are returning from an injury. Black Cats boss Michael Beale admitted last week that club captain Corry Evans was set to play some games for the under-21s side before being phased back into first-team training. The 33-year-old has been sidelined for over a year after suffering an ACL injury against Middlesbrough last season.

Elliot Embleton was also set to play for the under-21s side against Peterborough earlier this month, after recovering from a thigh injury, but the game was called off due to a waterlogged pitch. The midfielder then picked up an ankle issue and is expected to be sidelined for another month.

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