Newcastle United-linked forward could hand Sunderland's promotion rivals a boost ahead of League One run-in

It’s been a busy weekend for Sunderland and their League One rivals – as the season reaches its business end.
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With the race for promotion and the battle to avoid relegation both set to go down to the wire, it’s an intriguing time for a host of third tier side.

Here, we round-up the latest news surrounding Sunderland and their rivals ahead of the Easter Monday fixtures:

Peterborough United could welcome back key duo for Sunderland clash

Siriki DembeleSiriki Dembele
Siriki Dembele
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All eyes will be on London Road on Monday afternoon as second placed Peterborough welcome promotion rivals Sunderland in a a key clash in the automatic promotion race.

And the Posh could welcome both Siriki Dembele and Jack Taylor back into the starting line-up for the game, with the pair having played half an hour each against Fleetwood Town on Friday.

Dembele – who was linked with Newcastle United earlier this season – and Taylor have been regulars for Darren Ferguson’s men this season but have recently been sidelined through injury.

Ferguson, though, believes their appearances from the bench at Highbury will have aided their comeback.

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"When you come on in a game it’s difficult to get your breath,” said the Peterborough boss.

"Siriki you could see he’s only done one training session and that was Thursday. That 30 minutes will bring him on, there’s no question about that.

"Jack, he was outstanding.”

Charlton Athletic hope for injury boost

The Addicks have hit some form under new boss Nigel Adkins and travel to the Stadium of Light next weekend.

And they could welcome back centre back Akin Famewo for the clash on Wearside, after he missed the win over Doncaster Rovers on Good Friday.

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Adkins, whose side don’t play in midweek after Lincoln City’s COVID-19 cases, is hopeful his absence was only a short-term one.

“He complained of something very minor on Tuesday,” explained Adkins, speaking to London News Online.

"We’ve got excellent medical staff here. We just made the decision not to involve him today. He would have been fine for Lincoln on Tuesday but obviously that game is called off.

“Bear in mind that Ryan Inniss, we didn’t know how he was going to respond so we didn’t want to risk Akin. But he should be fine to be involved next week in training. A very minor thing and we’re just trying to manage that situation and manage the squad.”

Middlesbrough linked with swoop for Oxford United stopper

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The Sun on Sunday claim that Middlesbrough are interested in a move for Oxford United goalkeeper Jack Stevens.

Stevens, 23, started in the U’s defeat at Sunderland on Good Friday and has been a regular for Karl Robinson’s side this term.

He has previously spent time on loan at Oxford City and Tamworth, with this campaign a breakthrough one for the youngster at the Kassam Stadium.

Portsmouth praise for the Cowley brothers

Portsmouth’s promotion charge may have stuttered last month, but new manager Danny Cowley has made a quick impact.

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Speaking to the News, winger Ryan Williams said: “It’s hard to say too much without upsetting the last manager because I have too much respect for him.

“I think it’s just fresh ideas, a different way of playing, and it has made the boys really concentrate on what they are doing and focus on different things.”

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