Sunderland pair fit to face West Brom

Adam Johnson
Adam Johnson
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ADAM JOHNSON and Seb Larsson are both expected to be available for Sunderland’s opening day trip to West Brom.

The midfield pair missed Sunderland’s final friendly outing against Serie A outfit Udinese on Saturday, as the Black Cats concluded their pre-season programme with a 2-0 victory.

Johnson was left out as a precaution after getting a knock in Thursday’s friendly with Real Betis, while Larsson’s wife went into labour over the weekend.

But Poyet expects to have the pair, who are both likely to be included in the starting XI, available for Saturday’s clash at the Hawthorns.

“Adam has played a lot, so we decided to give him the weekend to rest and make sure he is ready,” said Poyet.

“But it’s nothing serious.

“Larsson has played a lot. He played 90 minutes with the second team, played 90 minutes with us the other day, so we gave him the chance to stay at home and look after his wife.”

Neither are Patrick van Aanholt or Charis Mavrias major worries for Poyet after the duo came off against Udinese.

Van Aanholt was substituted just before half-time after receiving treatment, while Greek winger Mavrias limped off following a heavy second half challenge on his ankle.

Both are expected to be available for Saturday though, with Mavrias in contention to start against the Baggies after a bright pre-season campaign, despite spending much of it in an unfamiliar right-back role.

“First, I have to thank him a lot because he played right-back for many games,” added Poyet.

“I said to him before the game that he’s going to play in his position as long as he wants. He got kicked so he couldn’t play 90 minutes.

“I think it is not too bad, but we will check it because you never know when it is the ankle bone.”