Sunderland sweating on fitness of injured duo ahead of Arsenal and Chelsea away

Jason Denayer gets treatment on Saturday before being forced off injured. Picture by Frank Reid
Jason Denayer gets treatment on Saturday before being forced off injured. Picture by Frank Reid
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Sunderland boss David Moyes is waiting on the fitness of Victor Anichebe and Jason Denayer ahead of a busy end to the season.

The Black Cats travel to the Emirates Stadium tomorrow night to face Arsenal in the rearranged Premier League fixture before the campaign comes to a close on Sunday away at champions Chelsea.

But Championship-bound Sunderland could be without Anichebe and Denayer for the end-of-season away double-header in the capital. They both picked up knocks and had to be substituted in the first half of Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Swansea City at the Stadium of Light.

Denayer lasted just 20 minutes before he signalled to the bench that he had to come off, with Darron Gibson on to replace him in central midfield.

Anichebe, who has been hit with injury problems this season, lasted 37 minutes before being replaced by Wahbi Khazri.

Moyes is hoping their injuries are not too serious and the pair will be assessed at the Academy of Light ahead of a busy final week.

If they don’t make it, defeat to Swansea is likely to have been their last appearance in a red and white shirt with Manchester City loanee Denayer heading back to the North West and Anichebe out of contract this summer.

When asked if the pair were done for the season, Moyes said: “I hope not.

“I’m needing both of them for the games.

“We’re away to teams where we might need to play Jason as a centre-back because I need his speed at the back. We need Victor as the only real targetman we have to play into.

“They’re both really important so I hope they’re not (out for the season), but I’ll find out how they are.”

Sunderland have been blighted by injury problems this season with a host of players having long spells in the treatment room. Bryan Oviedo, who had been out with a hamstring injury, returned to the bench against Swansea.

The match will be screened live on Sky.