John O’Shea will return to the Sunderland starting XI for tomorrow’s Capital One Cup clash against Manchester City.
Captain O’Shea missed Sunderland’s 2-0 defeat at Bournemouth on Saturday due to illness, but the 34-year-old has recovered and is due to take the place of the suspended Younes Kaboul at centre-half against City.
O’Shea’s inclusion will be one of a few changes, with on-loan Spurs full-back DeAndre Yedlin poised to make his Sunderland debut, while fit-again Adam Johnson could also make his first appearance since the opening day of the season.
But that is likely to be the extent of Dick Advocaat’s changes, with the head coach still keen to give extra game-time to those players who are short on match fitness after arriving at the Stadium of Light at the end of the transfer window.
“The players who came in later like Yann (M’Vila), (Ola) Toivonen and (Jeremain) Lens will play,” said Advocaat, who confirmed that winger Duncan Watmore will not be in the squad, despite his hat-trick for the Under-21s yesterday.
“Johnson is in the squad tomorrow, and DeAndre will play as well.
“Billy (Jones) has been doing well but he won’t be part of the squad tomorrow. We’ve given him a day’s rest but he will play on Saturday.
“It will be good to see DeAndre so let’s wait and see.”
Despite the loss at Bournemouth, which sent Sunderland back to the bottom of the Premier League table, Advocaat remains confident that the Black Cats can emerge from the doldrums after registering just two points from the opening six games.
“Despite the result, I’ve still got a good feeling that it will come with this team – honestly,” he added.
“I still saw some very good moments for a game when you lose 2-0.
“You have to take the bad things out of the game, but also the good things.
“There were large parts of that game where we were the dominant team.
“If the goal had been allowed at 2-1, then it’s a different game. It would have been the same in the first half with the (Jermain) Defoe chance.”