Sunderland team news: Updates on Khazri, Maja and Lens ahead of Derby clash

Maja was superb in pre-season before picking up an injury
Maja was superb in pre-season before picking up an injury
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Josh Maja and Jeremain Lens are unavailable for Friday night's season opener, but Simon Grayson expects Wahbi Khazri to be fit for selection.

Maja is recovering from a knee injury picked up the 3-2 pre-season win over Bradford, while Khazri was substituted in the first half against Celtic last weekend.

Grayson said: "Maja will probably be struggling, he’s still got his knee injury. It isn’t anything major, there’s a chance that the following weekend he might be available. Wahbi has trained again after the weekend so he will be available I should think.

"Lens is injured at this moment in time and as things are progressing he’s getting close to something happening with him anyway. He wouldn’t be available for selection, I know there’s talks still going on with Besiktas which will maybe lead to a move for him."

The Sunderland boss added that his mind is made up on his team for the clash with Derby County, but he expects further disruption in the coming weeks as the transfer window comes to a close.

He said: "In terms of for Friday night, I know what it [the team] is going to be. Do I know what it is going to be in a couple of weeks time, no, because I’ve made the point many times, the window should shut before the season starts. We’re vulnerable to players leaving, as many clubs are. It won’t be until probably the first week of September when you know you’ve got a group of players that you know you’re working with until January. Ultimately as well we’ll have two players coming back after the international week who are going to be heavily involved this season in Paddy McNair and Duncan Watmore.

"Bryan Oviedo suffered a calf injury at the Confederations Cup which wasn’t ideal, he’s doing a lot of running and probably a week or so he’ll be back in contention. Before you know it you’ve got three key players back in your squad. Jack Rodwell, who'd been injured for around ten days, is back in training as well."

The injuries to Maja and Lens are likely to mean competitive debuts from summer signings Aiden McGeady and Lewis Grabban.

The pair are still short of full match fitness but Grayson expects them to make a big impact in the Championship this season.

He said: "They’re always going to come into contention, I’ve not brought them in to sit on the bench. They’ll get better as the game goes on, they’ve still not done the training that we’d like them to have done before the start of the season, but they’re fired up and looking to making a name for themselves and this football club."