Sunderland head coach Lee Johnson

The strongest Sunderland team Lee Johnson can field right now for Hull City test and new campaign

Sunderland face Hull City on Friday night in their final pre-season friendly.

Friday, 30th July 2021, 12:26 pm

After leading a group of mostly U23 players in a 0-0 draw with Tranmere Rovers on Tuesday night, Lee Johnson is expected to name a strong side in what will act as a dress rehearsal for the opening day clash with Wigan Athletic.

Speaking after the Tranmere game the Black Cats head coach that he had the nucleus of his preferred side for the start of the campaign set in his mind, and his selection here is likely to give some insight into that.

There do, of course, remain some fairly significant unknowns.

The club has no senior full backs as it stands, while the rebuild in the centre of defence remains very much a work in progress.

As such, it remains to be seen whether any new additions will arrive with sufficient match fitness to push their way into the contention for the visit of Leam Richardson’s side.

Summer signings Callum Doyle and Corry Evans are immediate contenders, but while Alex Pritchard is stepping up his recovery from COVID-19 and edges towards selection, his role in the opening week or so of the campaign is expected to be extremely limited.

So what is Johnson’s strongest side and squad as it stands, and what does that tell us about the XI likely to feature against Hull Cuty and then Wigan Athletic?

We run you through the key calls Johnson will be weighing up over the next seven days or so...

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