Oxford United team news with Karl Robinson facing goalkeeper dilemma ahead of Sunderland clash plus Portsmouth January boost

Oxford United head coach Karl Robinson will run the rule over his returning Covid absentees before he names his team.

Friday, 3rd December 2021, 11:39 am

Sign up to our Sunderland AFC newsletter

Robinson had only 13 outfield players from which to select ahead of Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Rotherham following a coronavirus outbreak within the squad, with Simon Eastwood, Anthony Forde, Elliott Moore, John Mousinho, Mark Sykes, Matty Taylor and Jordan Thorniley all isolating, and although those missing are now back in training, some are more advanced in their recovery than others.

The U’s have a particular issue in the goalkeeping department after emergency loan signing Connal Trueman’s return to Birmingham, with Eastwood training, but Jack Stevens working his way back to full fitness after a bout of glandular fever.

Ryan Williams missed out against the Millers with a thigh problem, while Alex Gorrin is sidelined by knee ligament damage.

Sunderland's Stadium of Light.

Sign up to our Sunderland AFC newsletter

Sunderland host Oxford at the Stadium of Light in a 3pm KO on Saturday. The game has been arranged for this weekend as both clubs have been knocked out of the FA Cup.

Sunderland head into the game on the back of the Papa John’s Trophy cup exit to Oldham.

Meanwhile, Sunderland’s League One promotion rivals Portsmouth are confident Mahlon Romeo will stay put for the season.

Sunderland and Ipswich Town have been credited with an interest in the defender last summer.

Our sister title The News report: “The News understands there’s no recall clause for the right-back to return to Millwall in January.

“That’s despite Lions boss Gary Rowett indicating he would consider taking the in-form right-sided player back to The Den next month.”

A message from the Football Clubs Editor

Our aim is to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative Sunderland AFC coverage 365 days a year.

This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to, please consider taking out a subscription to our new sports-only package here.

Your support is much appreciated. Richard Mennear, Football Clubs Editor