Sunderland Under-21s are in European action tonight – but they must do battle with Athletic Bilbao without Lynden Gooch.
The American youngster has been ruled out of the clash at the Stadium of Light (KO 7pm).
The 19-year-old picked up a knock in training and will miss the final Premier League International Cup game, with Sunderland needing just one point to progress to the second round of the competition.
Sunderland are unbeaten in the competition, having beaten Man City and drawing with Borussia Monchengladbach.
And despite being forced to watch on from the stands, Gooch is tipping his teammates to complete the job.
“It’s frustrating because I’ve been in good form, but I didn’t want to take any risks and risk being out for a month or a couple of months,” he said.
“It’s obviously a lot different to what we’ve been used to.
“We were in this competition last year and we failed to get out of the group, but this year in a good position and have a great chance of progressing.”
Gooch’s omission from the squad comes as a blow to the Under 21s as the forward had a big impact in their last match at Leicester City a week ago.
The American scored a brace as Sunderland came from behind to beat Leicester City 6-1 to cement their place at the top of the Barclays U21 Premier League.
Tickets are priced at £3 for adults and £1 for over 65s and under 16s. Entry will be through turnstiles 1-8 and 17-24 in the West Stand. Doors open at 6pm.
Sunderland will also be without U21 regular Duncan Watmore.
* We’ll have a report and reaction at www.sunderlandecho.com